Inspections of factories are desired in some cases and disliked in some cases. (Readers may please click on the images to get full size readable pictures.)
The first image is from the magazine Business India of the year 2001. The next one is from the Business Standard of November 2010. There are justifications on either side. But, what is important for the society as a whole must be made law. How to control the negative factors in inspection? The readers may please offer their opinion.
2 responses to “Inspections: We want! No, we don’t want!”
On principle, I am opposed to inspections in case of social welfare laws like ESI or EPF These are statutory measures extremely useful to beneficiaries and unmatched by any contractual scheme that is now available in the market. If the scheme is run efficiently and progressively, both the employer and their employee will seek out the scheme. In fact there has been improvement in delivery mechanism of late, with impalement of corporate hospital for tertiary care, Information technology etc but lot more need to be done, mainly for primary medicare. Enforcement through inspection and threat of coercive measure is something contradictory to the concept of these scheme. The organization should provide high standard of service unfettered by bottleneck and then publicise the benefits through electronic media and frequent local level and industry or unit level education campaign so that situation is created where target beneficiary and their employer insist coverage.
It should be the employer to ask for visit of SSO to help them in registering and advising in the initial stage so that when employer seek help, thees SSO should visit them and clarify their doubt and assist them to use the online method of registration, payment etc. Inspection office should be employer facilitation center just as the branch office being IP facilitation center.
If at all the organization (ESIC) still feel that inspection is needed in some case, it should be only in case of written and verifiable complaint and such inspection should be only by a team lead by an officer with two or three SSOs, as a team and by surprise visit only when physical check like head count, worker level inquiry etc is done and record are verified later based on such physical check.. Such inspection should be organized under a Director of inspection, independent of Regional administration (and controlled in HQ by a senior officer independent of IC).. The Director of inspection will pick up SSO or other official at random and carry out surprise inspection. Routine periodical inspection of all unit should be stopped. Director of Inspection/investigation could be set up in large region or for a zone of smaller region with minimum staff but will have a panel of well trained official including SSOs who can be summoned in short notice to a given location without prior disclosure of unit to be inspected.
ESIC should move away from a revenue centric set up to benefit centric organization educating target group about the utility of the scheme and enuring efficient delivery of benefit. Automatically the beneficiaries will come forward to get themselves registered. A the saying goes, never take away the eye from the ball or let the focus be on the IP all the time.
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