Reliance’s mandatory insurance policy, ‘full of frauds’, scrapped by Governor

Srinagar: Acknowledging it as fraudulent, the Governor’s administration has scrapped the mega health insurance scheme imposed on government employees and pensioners in Jammu and Kashmir.
Last month, Governor Sayta Pal Malik had cleared the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd for proving insurance to 3.5-lakh government employees, including in autonomous bodies and universities. Later, for the first time, the government also rolled out the policy for state-accredited journalists.
A month later, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday publicly admitted that the multi-crore scheme by the Reliance group was “full of frauds”. The state finance department has been held responsible for implanting the policy.
Ever since the policy was made mandatory by the finance department on October 1, government employees had raised questions over giving the contract to the Anil Ambani-led company instead of the state-owned Life Insurance Company (LIC).
Governor Satya Pal Malik conceded that government employees wanted the insurance scheme to be scrapped, which he has now done.
“I did not waste any time and cancelled the contract (with Reliance),” he told reporters here, adding that officers responsible will be punished.
“I went to the root of the case to find out which officers were involved… how much amount was involved. More employees were added to the policy to raise the amount,” he said.
Government employees as well as accredited journalists were to pay an annual premium of Rs 8,777, while Rs 22,229 as annual premium had to be paid by government pensioners. The policy would have provided health insurance coverage up to Rs 6 lakh per employee/pensioner per annum along with his/her five dependent family members on floater basis.
After implementing the scheme, J&K principal secretary Navin Choudhary had publicly announced that the policy was mandatory for employees. He put the onus on drawing and disbursing officers to register every employee under the scheme, so that no employee was left out.
The scheme, which came into effect on October 1 for a period of one year, was extendable annually for three years based on “satisfactory performance” of the insurer.
According to terms of the policy, Reliance insurance would have created a corporate buffer of Rs 10 crore to meet the expenditure incurred on the identified illness, over and above the insurance cover of Rs 6 lakh.
Meanwhile, the Governor said that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), which has been vested with powers to arrest and confiscate property of tainted officials, has asked Kashmir Administrative Officers to submit their property details within a month.
Replying to a query about politicians facing corruption charges, he said, “Don’t talk about it now. Many people will get trapped… I will do something about it.”