Chennai, March 6 : Government owned two banks and a general insurance company has decided to bear the Covid-19 vaccination cost incurred by employees and their dependents who are 45 years of age with co-morbidities.
While the two banks - State Bank of India (SBI) and Canara Bank - will reimburse the cost of vaccination - Rs 250 per dose per head - incurred by their employees who are above 45 with co-morbidities and their dependents.
On the other hand, city-based United India General Insurance Company Ltd. will reimburse the vaccination cost incurred by its employees who are above 45 years of age and suffering from co-morbidities.
In its circular, United India has also pointed out that at government hospitals, the vaccination is done free of cost and urged the employees to get their jab done there.
The insurer also said only in the case where eligible employees were not able to go to a government hospital they can get the vaccination done at private hospitals.
However, SBI and Canara Bank did not urge its employees to look at the government hospitals for vaccination.
Appreciating the decision of the two banks C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) told IANS: "What is important is that the bankers should be vaccinated on priority basis and they should also be considered as corona warriors." "Despite being exposed to the coronavirus infection, the bankers attended to duty during the lockdown period and were handling currency notes, coins and others offered by their clients," Venkatachalam said.
According to him, many bank employees had contracted Covid-19 and had succumbed to it.
Venkatachalam also said the attendance in the bank branches is back to normal levels and the two banks' decision to reimburse the cost is mainly to show their concern towards their employees who are above 45 and exposed to higher risk of getting affected by coronavirus.
Venkatachalam added that the Finance Ministry has taken up with the Health Ministry for vaccinating the bankers on priority basis.
Meanwhile, the unions in the general insurance sector are urging the other three government companies - National Insurance Company Ltd, Oriental Insurance Company Ltd and New India Assurance Company Ltd - to follow United India's example.
"We are talking with the remaining three companies in this regard," K. Govindan, General Secretary, General Insurance Employees All India Association (GIEAIA) told IANS.
"No circular has been taken on the matter by Life Insurance Corporation of India," All India Insurance Employees Association (AIIEA) General Secretary Shrikant Mishra told IANS.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at email@example.com)
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-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text