The newly-constituted anti-corruption bureau (ACB) is set to get its first task: inquire into “dubious” allotment of employees’ health insurance contract by the J&K government to Reliance General Insurance Company. The deal was scrapped by Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday.
On the day the constitution of ACB was formally notified, a top official told that Malik, who is in New Delhi, gave his nod for holding a Vigilance probe into the contract that the Governor had himself termed “full of frauds.” The Vigilance Organisation has now been rechristened as the Anti-Corruption Bureau.
The government Friday issued a notification (SRO 486) vide No: GAD (Vig) 20-Adm/2018-Part II, which read: “In exercise of powers conferred by sub section (1) of section (10) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Samvat, 2006 (Act No XIII of 2006), the Government establishes a Bureau under the title of Anti-Corruption Bureau, for investigation of offences, under the said Act.”
The probe, according to a source, has been ordered amid growing clamour for identification of those behind allotment of the alleged shady deal.
Former chief minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah was the first to seek a high-level inquiry into the contract that had come in for severe criticism from various quarters.
“The [email protected] now needs to order an inquiry headed by the chief secretary to establish who was behind the allotment of the insurance contract. The sums of money involved are too big for this to have been a straight forward mistake,” Omar had tweeted, soon after the Governor scrapped the deal.
Omar had said that just cancelling the contract was not enough.“Fraud by whom? The guilty must be punished. Just cancelling the contract is not enough,” he had tweeted.The contract was terminated at a time when RGIC promoter Anil Ambani is embroiled in a controversy over Rs 59000-crore Rafale deal related to procurement of fighter jets by India.
On August 31, the State Administrative Council had cleared the proposal for selecting RGIC as an implementing agency for health insurance scheme. The policy was made mandatory for all state government employees and the premium was fixed at Rs 8,776 for each employee and Rs 22,228 for each pensioner.
The source disclosed that Rs 62 crore premium has already been paid to the RGIC.
“The premium was to be paid in four installments by the employees,” the source said, adding that the first installment has already been paid by the government to the company after deducting it from the employees’ salary.
As already reported on Friday, the deal had come under question for multiple “loopholes” and “deviations” from set norms. Those questioning it pointed out that the government, instead of floating the tenders online, advertised it through a broker M/S Trinity Reinsurance Brokers Ltd in few newspapers. They also said the notification issued earlier this year made it mandatory that the company that bagged the contract shall have experience of working in the state. But, they alleged, the government did away with the condition.