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Govt rolls out Group Mediclaim Health Insurance Scheme for employees, pensioners, accredited journalists

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SRINAGAR, SEP 20: The Governor’s Administration today formally rolled out the Group Mediclaim Health Insurance Scheme for employees, pensioners and Accredited Journalists in the State.
Giving details of the scheme, Principal Secretary Finance Navin K Choudhary said that the scheme is mandatory for government employees including employees of PSUs, Autonomous Bodies and Universities while it will be optional for Pensioners, AIS Officers, Adhoc, Contractual, DRWs, Work Charged/ Contingent Paid Workers and Accredited Journalists.
The scheme, he said, shall come into effect from 1st October 2018, for a period of one year and extendable annually for three years based on satisfactory performance of the Insurer.
Navin said the policy has been tied up with M/S Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd on annual premium of Rs 8777and Rs 22,229 (for employees and pensioners respectively). The Policy will provide health insurance coverage up to Rs 6 Iakh per employee/pensioner per annum along with his/her five dependent family members on floater basis.
He said the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Mata Vaishno Devi University, 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 installments in advance and paid to the Insurance Agency on due dates by the Agency concerned themselves.
He said the Medical Allowance in favor of all enrolled employees shall be discontinued, drawn and credited to the M.H.8235 during the currency of the policy on monthly basis.
Navin said the annual premium for the insurance cover of Rs 6 lakh would be Rs 8777 and the same shall be deducted in four quarterly installments of Rs 1295 on 1stOctober, 15thJanuary, 15thApril and the last installment of Rs 1292on 1stJuly each year.
He said the M/S Reliance General Insurance Company will create a corporate buffer of Rs 10 crores as part of Policy to meet the expenditure incurred on the identified illness over and above the insurance cover of Rs 6 lakh.
He said in case of both husband and wife or their any other family member is/are Government Employee(s) or pensioner(s), the Premium shall be payable by any one of them. The DDO shall obtain an authenticated certificate in case the premium has been paid by any other family member(s) of the employee and check/verify it from the concerned Treasury Officer.
“If the parents or one of the parents of an employee, who are/is pensioners/pensioner, fall within the employee plus dependent’s cap of 1+5, they are not required to pay the premium separately and take out a separate policy. However, if the employee and his dependents, which include his family plus his pensioner parents, exceed the above cap, one of the pensioner parents can take out a separate policy for himself or herself and his or her dependents,” he said and added that in case where either husband or wife is a Central Government Employee and has opted for the Mediclaim Insurance Policy launched by his/her employer, the Group Mediclaim Insurance Policy shall be optional in the case of his/her spouse, who is State Government Employee. However, the State Government employee have to necessarily provide a certificate from the DDO concerned of his/her spouse to the effect that the latter is covered under the Insurance Policy of his/her employer and has paid the premium for the said purpose.
He said the Government shall not refund any premium amount paid in excess by any employee due to his/her own negligence or by the concerned DDO. So, the instructions/ directions issued in this behalf are required to be adhered to in letter and spirit. Any deviation will be personal responsibility of the concerned DDO.
He said the Drawing and Disbursing Officers (DDOs) shall deduct the premium amount from the salaries of Employees and remit the same into the concerned Government Treasuries under the General and Other Reserve Funds Group Mediclaim lnsurance
“The concerned DDOs shall thereafter furnish the details of total number of employees and total amount deducted and remitted to the said account to their concerned Treasury Officers who shall forward the same to Director General, Accounts and Treasuries within two days,” he said and added that the Director General Accounts and Treasuries shall consolidate the information and forward the same to the Joint Director (Resources)/Chief Accounts Officer, Finance Department on most immediate basis.
Navin said that since the Policy is compulsory in nature, it shall be the personal responsibility and liability of the DDOs to register every employee under the scheme so that no employee is left out. AIS Officers can opt out of the policy only if they are otherwise covered under a separate Mediclaim Policy of the Central Government or have taken an individual policy with any Insurance Company. In case, any employee fails to have his premium deducted, the State Government shall not be in a position to accept such claim for medical reimbursement. All the concerned shall in their own interest ensure that necessary premium is deducted from their salaries.
The Principal Secretary Finance said that the Heads of PSUs/ Autonomous Bodies/ Universities, shall have the prescribed premium including taxes deducted from the salaries of their employees and pay the same to the concerned Insurance Company directly in the shape of Bank Draft alongwith the list of enrolled employees against proper receipt under an intimation to the Finance Department.
For pensioner, he said, annual premium for pensioner will be Rs 18629 which will be deducted in four quarterly installments of Rs 4657 on 1st October, 1st January, 1st April and the last installment of Rs 4658 on 1st July each year. The Medical Allowance in favor of all enrolled pensioners who opt the policy shall be drawn and credited to the concerned A/C NO with Moving Secretariat Branch of J&K Bank during the currency of the policy on monthly basis
He said all the pensioners who opt to be covered under the scheme shall make an application to the concerned Treasury Officer/Branch Head of J&K Bank for making deduction of premium from their pension.


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Kashmir

FB’s #10 yr challenge: Netizens mock languishing govt projects in Kashmir

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Jan 20: The #10year challenge–the latest rage on Facebook is triggering an unintended consequence in Kashmir.

It has thrown light on the abysmal pace of execution of key developmental projects.
In Kashmir, the government works are conceived and launched with much fanfare, but years, and in some cases decades, pass before they see the light of day.

The #10year challenge, new fad that has taken Facebook by storm and involves a person juxtaposing his or her decade-old photo with the current one, has seen Kashmiri people sharing photos of the incomplete government works here.

 

Netizens mostly share two similar photos of an incomplete pillar of the Jehangir Chowk-Ram Bagh (JCRB) flyover project, which was announced in 2009 and is still incomplete.

The project has missed multiple deadlines. To shut up the criticism they were receiving for the delay, the authorities opened up one way traffic on the first phase of the project, the overall completion of which is still a distant dream.

Announced in 2009, the construction on the flyover, funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at an estimated cost of Rs 359 crore, began in 2013, with September 2016 set as its first deadline. The then chief minister Omar Abdullah had laid the foundation of the flyover.

Apart from JCRB, the other major projects which were started years ago but are yet to be completed include: Boulevard widening project, construction of tunnel on the Mughal Road, and widening of an arterial passage in the capital city, Syed Meerak Shah-Zakura road.
Government had approved the Boulevard widening project in 2009 and had directed the concerned authorities to complete the project on fast-track basis. However, the project is yet to be completed.
The next project following suit is the construction of the tunnel on the Mughal Road.
Fourteen years since the Government of India approved its construction, the project is yet to see the light of the day. The project was approved in 2004, when the PDP shared power with Congress in the state. The proposal was for seven-kilometre long tunnel between Zaznar and Chathapani at 3,000 meters altitude on the 230-year-old Mughal road.
However, the work on the project is yet to be started as a result the road remains closed for nearly six months each year.
Similarly, in 2009 authorities started expansion of the Syed Meerak Shah Road from Dalgate to Zakura, primarily for facilitating smooth flow of vehicular movement through congested areas of old city Srinagar.
The widening project for the 10.33 kilometre road estimated at Rs 336.24 crore was aimed to serve as key surface link to old city Srinagar, Hazratbal shrine and the University of Kashmir. However, ten years have gone by but the project is still lingering.

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257 militants killed in 2018 is highest in 4 years

Agencies

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New Delhi, Jan 20: Jammu and Kashmir witnessed the killing of 257 militants in 2018 – the highest in four years – by government forces, official figures show.
A total of 213 militants were killed in 2017, 150 in 2016 and 108 in 2015.
While 142 militants were eliminated in anti-militancy operations till August 31, the rest were killed in the remaining four months.
An official told IANS that August witnessed the killing of 25 militants – the highest in a single month in 2018.
Also, 105 militants were arrested and 11 surrendered in 2018. The number arrested in 2017 was 97, 79 in 2016 and 67 in 2015.
Government forces also secured surrendering a higher surrender of militants in 2018, which was almost six times more compared to 2017. Only two militants surrendered in 2017 against one in 2016. No militant surrendered in 2015.
The data further revealed that the number of violent incidents were also at a peak during 2018 – almost one-and-half times more than 279 incidents in 2017. A total of 223 violent incidents were registered in 2016 and 143 in 2015.
The security forces also seized 153 AK rifles in 2018 — a dip from 213 in 2017, data accessed by IANS revealed. The number was 178 in 2016 and 177 in 2015.
An official deployed in internal security in Jammu and Kashmir said AK-47 assault rifles were the preferred weapon of militants.
The official, who did not want to be named, said that over 300 militants, including foreigners, were still active in the Kashmir Valley, especially in south Kashmir, which is the epicentre of militancy for over three years now.
“And these militants have been continuously attempting to radicalize youngsters in the Valley to take up arms and to shed fear of getting killed,” said the official.
“Militants were known to monitor activities of youngsters on social media – Facebook and Twitter — who are inclined to militant activities and hardcore religious activities,” the official added.

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Mehbooba among ‘strongest’ CMs of JK: Beg

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Srinagar, Jan 20: Senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehboob Beg on Sunday hailed party president Mehbooba Mufti as one of the most consistent and strongest chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir.
Beg, in a statement, said no matter if she is in the government or in the opposition she remained “steadfast”.
“Her politics and conviction finds basis in her ‘pro-people belief’, how she handled the Kathua rape case is a case in-point,” the statement said.
He said that the PDP president resisted the “sinister attempt to disturb and dislodge the tribal community and ensured no politics was played on this issue.”
Beg said: “Mehbooba’s stand was made crystal clear to the all-powerful central government as well, the Home Minister offered unconditional talks, the cases against protestors were withdrawn, the unilateral ceasefire was announced, how can we not appreciate her persisting with pro-people policies and made the BJP agree to matters that were politically inconvenient to them.”
“She took stands very well realizing that she did not have the numbers to dictate terms to the BJP, yet she persisted and since the BJP did not have the intentions to fulfill the terms agreed upon, they had to pull-out,” he said.
He claimed in the statement that the BJP had entered into this coalition by signing on dotted lines, the Agenda of Alliance was a carefully drafted ‘pro-people’ document.
Beg said “it appears that the BJP had no intention to fulfill what they had committed to do, one cannot do much about if somebody intends to cheat and deceive you.”
“We have had people waste historical opportunities. 1996 was a historic opportunity, the government of the day had overwhelming numbers, but did that government dare to take ‘pro-people’ stands? Let history be the judge on that,” he added.

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