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ESIC Update: Free Teleconsultation Services through e -Sanjeevani

February 2022: ESIC, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India, is facilitating medical consultation services to the beneficiaries of ESIC, free of cost, from anywhere, through the eSanjeevani App. The eSanjeevani (OPD Safe Home OPD) Tele-Consultation system is a citizen-friendly web-based App of the MoHFW. This aims to provide healthcare services to patients through safe & structured video-based clinical consultations between a doctor in a hospital and a patient at home or from anywhere.

 

Now, the ESI beneficiaries shall be able to reap the benefit and seek appointment with the ESI doctors for a video-consultation. ESIC-eSanjeevani shall also help the elderly or others to avail follow-up tele-consultation services in case situation does not permit to visit ESI health centre in person.

In the present scenario of COVID, this tool shall also prove highly beneficial for seeking health advice without requiring the beneficiary to travel to an ESI Health Centre in person.

Human Resource Department of Companies can disseminate this information to all their eligible employees to avail facility of online OPD tele-consultation from home/office. 

Employee can register themselves for further information and for availing services also for downloading the eSanjeevani App, at - https://esanjeevaniopd.in/Register 
 

Existing Provident Fund (PF) accounts are likely to be divided into two parts.

January 2022: From April 1, existing provident fund (PF) accounts are likely to be divided into two parts. In September last year, the government had notified new income tax (I-T) rules, under which the PF accounts will be split into two. The step will allow the Centre to tax PF income on employee contributions of over Rs 2.5 lakh annually.

With the new set of rules, the Centre aims to prevent high earning people from taking advantage of government welfare schemes.

Here are the top five takeaways:

1) All existing PF accounts will be divided into taxable and non-taxable contribution accounts.

2) The non-taxable accounts will include their closing account as it stood on March 31, 2021, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had said. The CBDT frames policy for the I-T department.

3) According to official sources, the rules may come into effect from the next financial year, i.e. from April 1, 2022, onwards.

4) In order to implement the new tax on PF income from employees' contributions exceeding Rs 2.5 lakh per annum, a new Section 9D has been included under the  I-T rules.

5) For taxable interest calculation, two separate accounts will be maintained within the existing PF account during the recently concluded financial year as well as all the preceding years, to assess the taxable as well as the non-taxable contribution made by a person.

ESIC Update: Relaxation in eligibility Conditions - ABVKY

January 2022: The Employees State Insurance Corporation vide its notification dated 12th January 2022 has decided to relax the eligibility condition of 2 years insurable employment before unemployment and contributory condition of Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana (ABVKY) with effect from 01.07.2021 as under:-

"The Insured Person should have been in insurable employment for a minimum period of 12 months immediately before his/her unemployment and should have contributed for not less than 78 days in the one completed contribution period in 12 months immediately preceding to unemployment."

 

The ABVKY scheme was introduced by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) on pilot basis for a period of 2 years w.e.f. 01.07.2018 for providing relief to the Insured Persons (IPs) who have become unemployed. However, to provide benefit to the IPs who have become unemployed during COVID-19 pandemic, the scheme was extended till 30th June 2022.

EPFO Update: Clarifiction on NEEM Scheme and Exemptions under the PF and ESI Act.

February 2022: EPFO Vide their Circular: File No. Compliance/NEEMscheme/2021, SUb: Clarification on NEEM Trainees-Reg, dated 24 Feb 2022, clarified that:


a. The Neem trainees are not exempted from the defination of "employee" under section 2(f) of the EPF & MP Act, 1952 and the Regulation 15.2 of the NEEM Regulation, 2017 is ultra vires to the provision of the Act.


b. However certain creteria have been laid down in HO circular dated 12 Oct 2015 to distinguish a student-trainee from an employee engaged by an establishment covered under the Act. EPF Scheme, 1952 after ascertaining the facts and circumstances of each case on merit.


c. further a mechanism under Para 26B of the EPF Scheme has laready been provided whereby a Regional PF Commissioner has been vested with power to decide a question whether an employee is entitled to, or required to become a member of the scheme after ascertaining the facts and circumstances of each case on merit.

It also states that - Any question whether a person is a trainee or employee may be decided as per law and considering the circular dated 12 Oct 2015.