ESIC further extends period for filing ESI contributions for February till May 15
The Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has further extended the deadline for filing ESI contributions for February till May 15 in view of the coronavirus lockdown.
Earlier, the ESIC had extended the period for filing contributions for the months of February and March till April 15 and May 15, respectively.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced extending the nationwide lockdown till May 3.
Explaining the reasons for extending the period for filing ESI contributions, the labour ministry in a statement said many establishments are temporarily closed and workers are unable to work due to the Covid-19 crisis.
In line with the relief measures being extended by the government to business entities and workers, ESIC has taken steps for its stakeholders, specially employers and insured persons, besides strengthening its medical resources to fight Covid-19, it added.
As a relief measure, the period for filing ESI contribution for the months of February and March was earlier extended April 15 and May 15, respectively.
Now, considering the hardship being faced by employers, the period for filing ESI contribution for the month of February has been further extended to May 15, 2020, it stated.
The period for filing contribution for March is also May 15.
No penalty or interest will be levied on establishments during the extended period. Around 3.49 crore insured persons (IPs) and 12,11,174 employers will get relief with the extension of period for filing the return, it added.
Besides these, some more relief measures have been undertaken for IPs and beneficiaries.
Purchase of medicines by ESI beneficiaries from private chemists during the lockdown period and its subsequent reimbursement by ESIC has been permitted, it said.
A provision has also been made for providing medical services to IPs and beneficiaries from tie-up hospitals, if an ESIC hospital is declared as a dedicated Covid-19 facility.
Medical benefit is provided under Rule 60-61 to the IPs who cease to be in insurable employment on account of permanent disablement and to the retired IPs on payment of advance lump-sum contribution for a year at the rate of Rs 10 per month.
Under the prevailing circumstances of lockdown, there may be cases where validity of the medical benefit cards issued to these beneficiaries expire as they are unable to deposit the advance annual lump-sum contribution.
Such beneficiaries have been allowed to avail medical benefit under Rule 60 and 61 of ESI (Central Rules) till June 30, 2020, it said.
Payment of about Rs 41 crore in respect of permanent disablement benefit and dependants' benefit has been sent to the bank accounts of beneficiaries in the month of March 2020, it said.