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Majithia suffering from 'Randhawa Phobia'

Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) :Punjab Cooperation Minister S. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa today categorically rejected the allegations levelled by an ex Akali minister regarding preferring a particular company for providing insurance cover to the employees of the cooperation sector and said that the akali leader seems to be suffering from 'Randhawa Phobia' and visualuzes Randhawa even in his dreams. So much so that even during the corona crisis, the akali leaders are settling personal scores by leveling allegations of false and baseless nature.  Setting the facts right, the minister said that there is no question of a single company entering the tendering process as four companies had participated in the process. He also said that under directions from the CVC, in the emergency situations, single bid can take place with the permission of the competent authority but still his department didn't prefer single bid despite corona virus pandemic. For providing insurance cover, only one company was found eligible. In technical bid, four companies qualified and gave 5 quotations because LIC gave two quotations. When the financial bid was opened, only one company was found meeting eligibility criteria.  S. Randhawa further said that the allegations pertaining to ignoring Govt. Insurance companies for providing insurance cover, are false because LIC was one of those companies who participated in the technical bid. The LIC decided to give insurance cover of Rs. 10 lakh but the department had intended Rs.25 lakh insurance cover for the employees. The LIC demanded Rs. 8000 and GST premium for covering the Rs. 10 lakh insurance cover. Whereas the Go Digit company, which was eventually given the job of providing insurance cover, demanded just Rs.1977 premium including GST which is far less than what LIC offered. If the LIC would have done insurance of Rs.25 lakh in the ratio of Rs. 10 lakh then the GST including the premium would have been Rs. 23000 which was far more than Rs. 1977. When the insurance cover was provided the corona cases were less in number. But afterwards, the rate at which the corona cases have multiplied the insurance premium amount is likely to increase too. So, the cooperation department got insurance done for less premium at the right time which removed the risk factor for the employees.  The minister further said that the tender was published in the three main newspapers but the akali leader is peeved that due to corona crisis, nobody reads newspapers during lockdown. First of all, it was after reading newspapers that nearly 10 companies approached the department for getting info for participating in the bid. Secondly, the newspapers were regularly published during lockdown and were even sold under essential services. The epapers were also read in online mode. If the newspapers were not read during lockdown then how come the akalis issued press notes and conducted press conferences He also added that under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna, only health employees are covered and the scheme was also for just three months under which the insurance cover expired on 30 June whereas the cooperation department has gone for insurance cover for a period of one year. Also, the Punjab Government has provided insurance cover of Rs. 50 lakh in case of Covid related death of the Government employees. The employees of the cooperative institutions such as Markfed, Milkfed, Sugarfed and Cooperative Banks don't fall under the insurance cover as only the employees of the Cooperation Department do. The allegations of the Jail Department employees being ignored are also wrong as they are already covered under the insurance cover for government employees. The minister further said that the allegation levelled by the akalis that the insurance cover would not be given if the Covid infected employee dies of any other disease. Everything is covered under co-morbidity.  He further elaborated that the allegations levelled on the Go Digit company are also false as it has IRDA approval and the company has also declared that the given insurance cover is approved. Apart from this, the company has three offices in Punjab and in every district, a person dedicately for the cooperation department is deployed. The minister further said that the akali leader alleged ignorance of the ICICI Lombard company. The figures of the IRDA for the year 2019-20 say that the ICICI Lombard company's growth rate was minus 8 percent whereas that of the Go Digit Company was 145 percent. The Go Digit company won BEST GENERAL INSURANCE AWARD last year and has done business of Rs. 3519 crores.  S. Randhawa also divulged that on what moral grounds are akalis levelling allegations of single tender. During their rule, the akalis also did single tender based works bypassing all rules.  Giving just one example, the minister said that in the Corporations of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and the Jalandhar City, the total number of 1002 works worth Rs. 788 Crore were done and out of these, 50 percent were of single tender. Total 109 works were related to dual bid. The Municipal Corporations awarded works worth Rs.500 crores on single tender basis regarding which the Advocate General said that the required process was not followed.

Majithia suffering from 'Randhawa Phobia'
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