Govt doubles insurance coverage for high-altitude workers

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jun 4, 2013-

The government has revised the insurance coverage amounts of policies covering mountain guides, high-altitude workers and porters, liaison officers, search and rescue officials and workers of mountain base camps.

A ministry-level meeting on May 29 took the decision, according to the Tourism Ministry.

The ministry said under the Mountaineering Expedition Regulation 2002, authorities concerned have been directed to double the existing coverage amounts for mountaineering and search and rescue officials. It has given January 1, 2014, deadline to implement the new scheme.

Meanwhile, medical |insurance coverage amount for these workers has been raised by 500 percent to Rs 300,000 per person.

Ministry officials said the revision of the policy aims to address social security of the mountaineering workers who work tirelessly, but their insurances remains nominal. “These high-altitude workers or search and rescue officials are involved in high risk and dangerous job, which pays well, but have nominal insurance coverage,” said Purna Chandra Bhattarai, joint-secretary at the Tourism Industry Division of the Tourism Ministry.

As per the revised policy, personal accident insurance and workers compensation insurance of the Sirdar (mountain climbing) or the mountain guide has been doubled to a minimum Rs 1 million from Rs 500,000. For high-altitude workers, the insurance coverage has been raised to Rs 1 million from Rs 400,000. The government has increased the personal accident insurance and workers compensation insurance for the officials involved in emergency search and rescue operation by 150 percent to $10,000.

Insurance coverage for workers of base camps and local porters has been raised by 128 percent to Rs 800,000 and 100 percent to Rs 500,000, respectively.

Personal accident insurance and workers compensation insurance for government-mobilised liaison officers in the mountain region has been raised by 33 percent to Rs 800,000. As per the regulation, the mountaineering expedition team will insure, from the insurance companies as recognized by the government, of the mountain guide, high-altitude workers and base camp workers of their personal accident.

Published: 05-06-2013 09:02

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