SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir’s government’s picking up Reliance General Insurance Company Limited (RGICL) for mandatory ‘Group Mediclaim Insurance Policy’ for all its employees, pensioners and accredited journalists has raised many eyebrows in the state and beyond. The Congress party is in the forefront of censuring the move and has termed it as yet another testimony of ‘Modi-Reliance nexus’.
However, a spokesman of the State government rejected the criticism as unwarranted and said that all public sector undertakings as well as top private insurance companies were contacted to participate in the bidding process. He added, “In the second round of bidding, nine private and PSUs submitted their bids out of which five qualified on technical evaluation criteria. The financial bid of these qualified companies were opened and it emerged that the RGICL with a quoted premium of Rs 8776.84 was at L1”.
He said the National Insurance Company Ltd with quoted premium of Rs 11918.00 was at L2, ICICI Lombard with quoted premium of Rs 17691.74 at L3, Bajaj Allianz with quoted premium of Rs 23476.10 at L4 and United India Assurance Company with quoted premium of Rs 27225.00 at L5”. However, the opposition has sought to link the choice of the state which is currently under governor’s rule with ongoing Rafale controversy wherein the Modi government has been accused of favouring Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence Limited over Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
On September 20, the governor’s administration formally rolled out the Group Mediclaim Health Insurance Scheme for employees, pensioners and accredited journalists in the State. The scheme is mandatory for government employees.
including employees of PSUs, autonomous bodies and universities while it will be optional for pensioners, ad-hoc, contractual, work charged and contingent paid workers, some other non-permanent officials and accredited journalists.
The scheme has come into effect from October 1 for a period of one year and is extendable annually for three years “based on satisfactory performance of the insurer”. J&K’s Principal Secretary Finance, Navin K Choudhary, said the policy has been tied up with RGICL on annual premium of Rs 8,777 and Rs 22,229 for employees and pensioners, respectively. The policy will provide health insurance coverage up to Rs 600,000 per employee/pensioner per annum along with his or her five dependent family members on floater basis.
He said that Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board and the accredited journalists of the State shall be also covered under the scheme. “They may do so provided the premium is collected in four quarterly instalments in advance and paid to the insurance agency on due dates by the agency concerned themselves,” he said. As per the agreement reached between the two sides, the RGICL will create a corporate buffer of Rs 10 crore as part of policy to meet the expenditure incurred on the identified illness over and above the insurance cover of Rs 600,000. The government strongly denied reports that said it has asked the employees to buy health insurance from RGICL instead of the state-owned Life Insurance Company (LIC).