SRINAGAR: After Congress president pointed fingers to the health insurance deal that Jammu and Kashmir government signed with the Ambani company, the Reliance General Insurance finally jumped into the ring to defend the company. The company issued a long statement insisting the deal was bagged by the company through fair competition.
“We have won the employee health insurance policy as part of the ‘J&K Chief Minister’s Group Mediclaim Policy’ after a rigorous transparent competitive tender process involving technical and financial evaluation of multiple bidders, carried out strictly in compliance with the laid down guidelines of the state government,” the company said in a statement on Saturday.
The company said their bid was almost 35 per cent lower than the other closest proposal and was most competitive. To a state government tender, National Insurance, United India Insurance, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance and ICICI Lombard had applied.
The Ambani company statement came in response to the tweet by Congress president Rahul Gandhi. “When your BFF is the PM, you can get the 1,30,000 Cr. Rafale deal, even without relevant experience. But wait. There’s more!,” Gandhi wrote on twitter. “Apparently, 400,000 JK Govt staff will also be arm twisted into buying health insurance ONLY from your company!”
The tweet was aimed at linking the influential business family with the politics of the BJP. The Modi led government is facing the music in the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France after the Paris revealed that Delhi came with the proposal of involving the Reliance in the deal.
Reliance General Insurance is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ambani’s Reliance Capital and the deal with Jammu and Kashmir government will provide health insurance to its nearly half a million employees, pensioners and accredited journalists under the Group Mediclaim Insurance.
The Congress is making the Rafale fighter jets deal a major poll issue. This will essentially mean that all the deals that the Reliance might have done with the BJP managed or ruled states will come in focus. Jammu and Kashmir’s Group Mediclaim Insurance policy will also fall in the same basket. Now, people have started linking the shooting of a French film in Ladakh that had an Ambani company funding it.
“It had been widely reported in international media that one company of Ambani’s group had been made the offset partner of the French fighter aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation after a French partner of Reliance, VisVires Capital, had financed 15 percent (1.48 million Euros) budget of Rouge International’s film Tout La-Haut, released in December 2017,” journalist Ahmad Ali Fayaz wrote in a website. “Rouge International happened to be the production house of the then French President Francois Hollande’s partner, actress Julie Gayet.”
But the state government, currently run by the governor Satya Pal Malik is saying the process of tendering, evaluation and finally the award has been smooth, fair and transparent.
Officials said three private insurance companies and four PSUs of the Government of India applied to the tender. The two PSUs were disqualified in the technical evaluation and the five bidders followed the process. They offered hugely varying premium rates – Reliance General Insurance Company was the lowest with Rs 8,776.84 , National Insurance Company gave Rs 11,918.00 as emerged as L-2, ICICI Lombard sought Rs 17,691.74 and became L-3, Bajaj Allianz asked for Rs 23,476.10 at was at L-4, and United India Assurance went a step ahead to Rs 27,225.00.
Interestingly, the policy was being implemented through ICICI Lombard earlier. Then they were charging a rate of Rs 6200 and after suffering losses, they sought a premium of Rs 17,692.
Officials said they have experienced the problems that the insurance holders face and all those concerns were tackled in this scheme. The policy will have a cumulative premium of around Rs 325 crore a year and the two parties can be extended the same policy to two more years.