Health insurance scheme for govt employees on anvil

The government has formulated a scheme that will allow its employees to choose between a health insurance plan provided by an insurer or that from state run Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS). At present, the Central government employees are covered under the CHGS scheme, being operated by the health ministry. "The scheme is already formulated...It will open the choice for government servants," G C Chaturvedi, Additional Secretary in the Finance Ministry told news agency. The new scheme, which will be placed before the Union Cabinet for approval soon, will immediately benefit at least three lakh Central government employees, he said. The new scheme, Chaturvedi said, will be more beneficial to the employees who are posted at places where there are no CGHS dispensaries or they are far away from the place of posting. CGHS dispensaries and hospitals are located only in 26 places in the country. "Those who are residing outside CGHS dispensaries areas will immediately opt for it... There are over three lakh employees which will immediately opt for it, others will take some time," Chaturvedi said. The government had earlier appointed a inter-ministerial committee to work out a health insurance scheme to supplement the CGHS scheme to provide better coverage to its employees.

Joint appeal to Railwaymen for Strengthening Railway System

Union Railways Minister, Kumari Mamata Banerjee alongwith both Ministers of State for Railways, Shri E. Ahamed and Shri K. H. Muniyappa, the entire Railway Board and the Chiefs of various Unions of Railway employees in a single written joint appeal to railwaymen have called upon them to strengthen the Railway system through sincere efforts and hard wok so that the Railways do not lag behind any other organization in efficiency. The joint appeal letter which is being sent to all members of the Railway family across the country has pointed out that the mammoth railway machinery has been working efficiently only due to shear dedication and hard work of railwaymen. Reposing full faith in the confidence, capacity and capability of railwaymen, the joint appeal has called upon them to continue their hard work and dedication for realizing the motto ‘Service with Smile’ in the best interest of the public and the nation. Referring to the safety aspects in train operations, the joint appeal has emphasized the need for the railway men to be fully vigilant as safety never sleeps. The letter of appeal has categorically mentioned that resorting to short cut methods in discharge of duties is unacceptable. Referring to the recent pay hikes in salaries and allowance, the joint appeal has underscored that it has now thrown a greater responsibility on railwaymen to pay back to the general public in the form of improved efficiency and a high quality service that is safe, secure and punctual. The joint appeal exhorts all employees to ensure observance of all procedures and rules so as to enable Indian Railways to achieve its goal of efficiently transporting passengers and goods across the country. The joint appeal also reminded railway employees of their duty to caution their fellow railwaymen who may be adopting unsafe and undesirable practices which may lead to bad consequences. Referring to the achievements of the Railways in the first six months of the current financial year, the joint appeal has pointed out that Railways have registered a growth of 6.45 per cent in freight transportation and 4.50 per cent growth in passenger transportation as compared to last year. The Railways’ earnings have also shown growth of 6.7 per cent from over Rs. 37732 crore last year to over Rs. 40259 crore in the current financial year. Safety record of Railways has also improved with 68 consequential accidents (April – September, 2009) as compared to 91 accidents last year. Besides Union Railway Minister, Kumari Mamata Banerjee and Ministers of State Shri E. Ahamed and Shri K.H. Muniyappa, the other signatories to the joint appeal include Chairman, Railway Board, Shri S.S. Khurna, Financial Commissioner, Ms. Sowmya Raghvan, Member Electrical, Shri Sudesh Kumar, Member Engineering, Shri Rakesh Chopra, Member Mechanical, Shri Praveen Kumar, Member Traffic, Shri Shriprakash, Secretary, Railway Board, Shri K.B.L. Mittal, General Secretary (AIRF), Shri S.G. Mishra, General Secretary (NFIR), Shri M. Raghaviah, General Secretary(AIRPFA), Shri U.S. Jha, General Secretary (IRPOF), Shri Jitendra Singh and General Secretary(FROA), Ms. Ragini Yechury

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