State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) on Monday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh in case of coronavirus-related death of any LPG delivery boy or other personnel involved in the supply chain.
While the entire country has bee locked down with most confining themselves to homes, cooking gas (LPG) supplies have continued uninterrupted with all the distributors and hundreds of delivery boys providing cylinders to 27.5 crore users on demand.
Though the LPG distributor agencies and their staff, including delivery boys, are not part of oil company staff, they have been provided with protective gear by the three firms. But, the risk to the delivery boys and other staff remained as the Covid-19 infection spreads.
Recognising the threat, IOC, BPCL and HPCL announced the ex-gratia.
"Oil marketing companies IOCL, BPCL and HPCL today (on Monday) announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 5 lakh each, as a one-time special measure, in the unfortunate case of demise of personnel like show-room staff, godown-keepers, mechanics and delivery boys, attending duty in the LPG distributorship chain, due to the infection and impact of Covid-19," an official statement said.
LPG being an essential commodity has been exempted from the lockdown, and the personnel are required to attend duty during this crisis period to maintain uninterrupted LPG cylinder supplies across the country to all customers.
"Indian Oil to provide an ex-gratia amount of Rs 5 lakhs in case of death of any personnel of Indane distributorships arising out of infection and impact of COVID-19 as a one-time special measure, to include show-room staff, godown keepers, mechanics and delivery boys," the company said in a tweet.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan welcomed the humanitarian decision. "This gesture of goodwill is a recognition of the services rendered by our personnel in these trying times. The well-being of our workers is of paramount importance, this compassionate move will strengthen the safety nets of our workforce aiding India's fight against corona," he said.