KL NEWS NETWORK
In a significant welfare measure, the State Administrative Council (SAC), which met in Jammu On Monday under the chairmanship of Governor N N Vohra, approved that the Cashless Medical Insurance facility, which presently covers only the officer cadre, should be extended to approximately 3.5 lakh non-gazetted employees of the State Government.
While approving the Scheme, the SAC noted the difficulties faced by the employees, particularly those at the lower ranks, in meeting large medical bills for critical care and the reimbursement system which at times takes years to settle claims.
The SAC noted that under the proposed scheme, an employee along with five members of his or her family, would be covered for an amount of Rs 5.00 lakh cashless treatment across well-known hospitals within and outside the state. The Scheme would cover about 20 lakh persons – comprising employees and their family members – which is a very significant percentage of the entire population of the State.
The SAC noted that the Stamp Duty and Service Tax of Rs 30 crore which would have accrued to the State Exchequer annually will be waived off with a view to reduce the burden of the premium payable by the employees.
Further, for the non-gazetted employees, the annual premium of Rs 5403 would be allowed to be paid in 12 monthly instalments, which comes to Rs 450/ per month. The medical reimbursement as admissible to employees @ Rs 300/- per month will continue to be paid. The employees would also be eligible to income tax rebate for the full amount of the premium paid by them.
The SAC was further informed that the required changes would be made in the Medical Attendance Rules to provide for reimbursement of any unforeseen type/ nature of illness which cannot be covered under this Scheme.
Considering the all-round beneficial aspects of the Scheme, the SAC has directed that it should be rolled out urgently for non-gazetted employees and also explore to include other sections like the employees working in PSUs, Universities, Semi Governmental Organizations etc., if they also wish to avail the benefits of the Scheme.
The SAC further directed that the scheme be rolled out within one month by enrolling all non-gazetted employees in a hassle free manner.
In a related significant development, the SAC also directed the creation of the J&K Employees Welfare Fund with an initial corpus to be contributed by the Government from which the employees of the State could be extended support for various welfare purposes. The SAC directed that all the non-gazetted and gazetted employees, right from Class-IV to Chief Secretary, would pay a suitable monthly contribution towards this fund, at a graded scale.
The SAC directed that Guidelines/ Rules should be framed for the administration of this Fund, by the General Administration Department in consultation with the Finance Department.