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Last updated: 12 Oct, 2021  

IRDA.9.Thmb.jpg IRDAI, the gravy train for employees

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SME Times News Bureau | 12 Oct, 2021
A five-day week, handsome salary with provident fund, gratuity, medical benefits, qualification allowances - even for the basic educational qualification for which a person is hired -- capping it all is leave travel concession (LTC) post retirement!

In addition, provision of treadmills and inverters at home for a select few, said a senior IRDAI official to IANS.

Certainly, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is one of the best places to work where the employees' fancy needs are underwritten at the cost of policyholders/taxpayers.

The IRDAI has come out with a circular allowing employees to avail LTC facility within one year of their retirement if they had not availed the same during the last block period.

This at a time when the Covid-19 was at its peak when many taxpayers had lost their jobs, suffered pay cuts and people were also asking the insurers and IRDAI a small leeway in payment of premium.

"Our employee benefit schemes are largely patterned like that of SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India). To the best of my knowledge, SEBI does not have the post retirement LTC benefit," a senior IRDAI official told IANS.

"In the banking sector such a facility is not there for the employees. The LTC facility ceases once an employee retires. Perhaps we can raise a similar demand during our next wage negotiations," C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) told IANS.

Another interesting perks in IRDAI is the qualification allowance which is offered to those who were hired specifically to have those professional qualifications.

Earlier, Member (Actuary) was offered a qualification allowance of whopping Rs 65,000/month, said an official.

"Curiously a Member (Actuary) is hired for possessing such professional qualifications. Later this allowance for the Member (Actuary) was scrapped. However, there are several actuaries in IRDAI who are posted in non-actuarial positions but drawing handsome allowances. This shows poor staff planning," another senior IRDAI official told IANS.

But most curious is the allegation against some senior IRDAI officials about their acquiring full time law degree from Osmania University while attending office and without taking official permission.

A series of questions have been sent to several authorities like IRDAI, Osmania University and others under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by interested parties.

Replying to the RTI queries on the law degree issue, the IRDAI has said that it has no record of some of its officials having a law degree.

According to IRDAI there is no specific penalty prescribed for staff pursuing full time courses without prior permission.

Officials of IRDAI said there can be no smoke without fire.
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