Mumbai BMC medical insurance: Opposition walks out of panel meeting

Mumbai: Corporators from all the Opposition parties stormed out of the Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday following uproar over the administration’s failure to come up with a conclusion regarding the medical insurance of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) employees. Last week, the BMC had decided to pay up to Rs 125 crore for the premium to the insurance company while assuring the corporators that a decision would be taken at the next committee meeting. The administration, however, failed to come up with a decision on the issue.

“We had earlier decided to openly protest and walk out of the meeting. But decided against it after the Standing Committee chairman assured us of a decision in the next meeting. But even this week, the administration gave uncertain and unconvincing answers. This shows how serious the civic body is towards its employees,” said Ravi Raja, Opposition leader and Congress corporator.

Scores of BMC employees were left in a fix after the BMC, without warning, withdrew the health insurance cover in August 2017. Moreover, the premium amount was being deducted from their salaries and pensions every month. The BMC said the insurer – United India Insurance – is demanding Rs 166 crore for the financial year 2017-18, after providing the same services for Rs 96 crore the previous financial year.

Rais Shaikh, corporator and group leader of Samajwadi Party, said the administration is neither furnished a final decision on the scheme nor took up the responsibility to compensate the workers in the transition period wherein employees had to pay from their kitties.

“The administration should come clean on the transition period and should be ready to pay up whatever were the losses faced by workers. To which they turned tight-lipped,” said Rais. AL Jarhad, Additional Municipal Commissioner, confessed the BMC does not have any information and data of the said transition period.

Yashwant Jadhav, however, defended the administration and said, “It is not that the corporation has not put in efforts to come to a conclusion. It has hardly been a week. But I assure that the issue will be discussed every week until we come up with a a positive conclusion. We all want to ensure our workers get their due.”

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