Government mulling health insurance for domestic workers

New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) The government is considering a slew of welfare schemes, including health insurance, for domestic workers in the country, Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge informed the Lok Sabha Tuesday.

The minister said the government was considering the recommendations made by the task force on domestic workers, which also includes a provision for providing health insurance to the workers under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY).

RSBY was started on April 1, 2008 to provide health insurance coverage to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. It provides hospitalization coverage of up to Rs.30,000 to its beneficiaries based on a system of smart cards.

Currently there are 17,280,964 RSBY smart card holders across the country.

Other recommendations of the task force include:

— Extension of the welfare schemes to the domestic workers including health care benefits.

– Smart cards to be used to provide welfare schemes rolled out for domestic workers.

– Domestic workers should be identified and registered by the State Labour Department.

– Domestic work to be included in the central list of scheduled employment under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948.

– State governments to fix minimum rates of wages for domestic workers.

– Registration of all placement agencies and individuals who provide placements to domestic workers.

– Formulation of a national policy for the domestic workers.

– Scaling up of the skill and re-skill training program initiated by International Labour Organization (ILO).

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