By – B.S. Chauhan : In the Union Budget for 2008-09 Government has introduced three schemes that are designed to provide social security to workers in the unorganised sector in a phased manner. The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana was implemented with effect from April 1, 2008.
The Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme that was enlarged with effect from November 19, 2007 to include all persons over 65 years falling under the BPL category. Consequently, the coverage has expanded from 87 lakh to 157 lakh beneficiaries. Death and disability insurance cover was extended through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) to rural landless households under a new scheme called ‘Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana’ (AABY), in consultation with the State Governments. The scheme was launched on 2nd October 2007 by the Finance Minister Shri P. Chidambaram at Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. It provides for insurance to the head of the family of rural landless household against natural death, accidental death and partial/permanent disability. Over 5.4 million have already received the insurance cover under this scheme.
Scheme for the Aam Aadmi
In case the head of the family is not covered due to some reason, AABY aims at providing the insurance cover to one earning member in the family of rural landless household (RLH). The members should be aged between 18 years and 59 years. The State Government/Union Territory, which opts for, the Scheme would act as Nodal Agency. The Nodal Agency shall identify the members to be covered under AABY in consultation with the Panchayati Raj Institutions where feasible and shall intimate the total number of lives to be covered under the scheme to the designated P&GS Unit along with the share of 50% of the premium. The Nodal Agency shall be the Master Policy Holder under the scheme. The Nodal Agency has to satisfy that the member covered under the Scheme is in the age group of 18 and 59 years and that the member belongs to the rural landless household. The verification of the age can be done with the help of any of the document, which includes Ration Card or Extract from Birth Register or Extract from School Certificate or Voter’s List or Identity Card.
In the case of natural death of a member, prior to terminal date, the sum assured of Rs.30, 000/- shall become payable to the nominee. In the case of accident the following benefits are provided to the members:
a) On death due to accident Rs.75, 000/-
b) Permanent Total Disability due to accident Rs.75, 000/-
c) Loss of 2 eyes or 2 limbs OR
Loss of one eye & one limb in an accident Rs.75, 000/-
d) Loss of one eye or one limb in an accident Rs.37, 500/-
This insurance scheme is unique in the sense that it provides additional benefits to the children of the beneficiary. Scholarship as a Free Add-on benefit will be provided to a maximum of two children of the beneficiary, studying between 9th to 12th Standard @ Rs.100/- per month for each child, payable half yearly – on 1st July and on 1st January, each year. The premium to be charged under the scheme will be Rs.200/- per annum per member. Of this 50% will be subsidized from the AABY Premium Fund maintained by LIC of India for this purpose and the remaining 50% by the State Government. The premium shall be paid in yearly mode.
AABY Scheme was opted for participation by the State of Himachal Pradesh on the date of the launch itself. It is also operational in the State of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar where the scheme is quite popular. The other States which have shown keen interest for the participation in scheme are Jammu & Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh. Administrative sanction/budgetary provision has also been made in the States of Tripura, Mizoram, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh etc. In many other states, the scheme is under survey or different stages of consideration.