AIBOC for extension of ex-gratia in case of death due to post COVID-19 complications

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New Delhi, Jun 1 (PTI) Bank officer's union AIBOC on Tuesday demanded extension of one-time ex-gratia in case of death of a banker due to COVID-19-induced health complications.

The one-time ex-gratia of up to Rs 20 lakh is given to bankers in case of an unfortunate event of death due to COVID-19 and not for post complication caused by the deadly virus.

In a letter written to Indian Banks' Association (IBA), AIBOC said 'a significant number have fallen prey to COVID-induced health complications such as pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, thromboembolism, mucormycosis (Black Fungus) or others. In these cases, the death certificates do not categorically state that the cause of death is COVID-19'.

The families of such victims are therefore denied payment of one-time ex-gratia as well as compassionate appointment schemes solely on the ground that the death certificates do not clearly mention COVID-19 as the cause of death, it said.

Citing the guidelines issued by various banks, All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC) said an essential prerequisite for qualifying payment of the ex -gratia is that there must be a clear mention in the death certificate that the deceased had tested COVID-19 positive and had died due to COVID-19 infection.

'We, therefore, urge upon you to address the problems and kindly issue suitable advisory so as to include post COVID complications as the proximate cause of death in the death certificate as an essential requisite for qualifying ex-gratia for the bereaved families as well for compassionate appointment,' the letter, addressed to IBA Chairman, said.

The union also requested that such amendment be made effective retrospectively, so that all deprived families of the deceased officers who had died from such COVID-19 related complications may also be benefited from the same compensation.

'We sincerely believe that such a compassionate and humanitarian gesture of the management would encourage and inspire the officers to work with greater zeal, dedication and sincerity,' it said.

Speaking on the issue, Voice of Banking founder Ashwini Rana said this issue should be humanely treated by management in these difficult times.

As per reports, many bankers have lost their lives due to post-COVID-19 complications, but were denied one-time ex-gratia, Rana said.

Bank employees and officers have been relentlessly working to serve the nation during times of national crisis to keep the wheels of the economy moving, risking their lives of getting infected by this dreaded virus, AIBOC said.

'Rightfully, we have been recognised as Frontline COVID warriors by the government. It is also an irony that despite earning the sobriquet of FLW, our personnel were deprived of the vaccination given to other FLWs. “Consequently, hundreds of young employees and officials in the age bracket of 25 to 45 have succumbed to the virus,' it said. PTI DP BAL BAL

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