The government has increased personal accident and medical insurance, and claims of high altitude guides, porters, workers and liaison officers.
"The minister level decision, on May 28, has hiked personal accident and medical insurance, and claims of high altitude guides, porters, workers and liaison officers effective from January 1, 2014, officially," according to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. "However, the agencies can implement the decision before January 1, 2014, if they wish to do so on their own."
A liaison officer will now have a minimum of Rs 800,000 insurance — Rs 200,000 hike — from the current Rs 600,000, it said, adding that a team leader and high altitude guide will have a minimum of Rs 1million — double hike — from the current Rs 500,000 insurance. "Likewise, high altitude workers will have a minimum of Rs one million — more than double — from the current Rs 400,000 insurance, whereas base camp workers will have Rs 800,000 — more than double — from the current Rs 350,000 insurance."
Local workers' insurance has also been increased by 100 per cent to Rs 500,000 from the current Rs 250,000, the ministry added. "The medical insurance of all high altitude workers, including guides and liaison officers has been increased by six times to Rs 300,000 from the current Rs 50,000," according to the minister level decision.
The ministry has also decided to include search and rescue missions of the dead bodies of mountaineers under the emergency rescue insurance. "The insurance for emergency rescue has also been hiked by more than double to a minimum of $10,000 from the current $4000," said under secretary of the ministry Surendra Sapkota, who claimed that the upward revision of personal accident and medical insurance, and claims will help increase social security of high altitude travel guides, porters, workers and liaison officers.He also requested the concerned agencies to help implement the new insurance policy as soon as possible for the welfare of high altitude travel guides, porters, workers and liaison officers.