11 Feb : The Union Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia said that the Government is planning to launch a new Rural Postal Life Insurance Scheme soon to give protection to the rural people for any eventuality.
He was addressing at the release of the Commemorative Postage Stamp and Awards Ceremony on the occasion of Quasquicentennial celebrations of Postal Life Insurance here today. On the occasion, He said that the new policy will be of Rs. of 1,00,000/- of sum assured in which a person has to contribute only Rs. 1.25 per month or Rs.15/- per year as premium. The customers don’t have to go to District Headquarters for medical check up and it can be done locally through Government Doctors. Those who don’t possess standard age proof documents can now take Rural PLI policies of upto Rs. One lakh Sum Assured. In summary, PLI is the real Jeevan Bima for the ‘Aam Aadmi’.
Shri Scindia informed that recently India Post enhanced the Rural Postal Life Insurance bonus from Rs.50/- to Rs.55/- for every Rs.1,000 of Sum Assured, whereas the traditional insurers give bonus in the range of Rs.45 to Rs.50/- only.
Today, number of live policies in PLI and Rural PLI is almost 10 million. The corpus size is more than Rs. 15,000 crores. Total sum Assured for all policies comes to nearly Rs. 73,000 crores. In its 125th Year, PLI has taken several steps for improving after sales services. All works of PLI now-a-days are being done online through a web-based system and data-base of nearly 10 million policy holders are being managed centrally at the National Data Centre.
The Minister also gave away twenty eight awards to the officials of Postal Life Insurance Scheme for their outstanding contributions in business promotion of the Scheme.
The secretary, Department of Posts smt. Radhika Doraiswamy, Member (PLI) Postal Services Board Shri S. Samant and Chief General Manager PLI Directorate Shri S.K. Sinha were also present on the occasion.
Following is the text of the speech made by the Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia on the occasion :
“Today we are all here on the occasion of 125 years of PLI, the Postal Life Insurance. Postal Life insurance is on the threshold of a new era and it is a happy coincidence that as we celebrate the Quasquicentennial – 125th year of its existence, we usher in a new epoch of growth. I am delighted to congratulate all the award winners who have performed exceptionally well, especially my Grameen Dak Sevak who has made the impossible possible by garnering a business of over Rs.9 crores in PLI. The spirit of hard work displayed by the awardees is the need of the hour and we all need to commend their performance once again. Let them be our leading lights in our pursuit of excellence.
In tune with changing customer requirements a series of changes have been brought about to make PLI attractive and simpler. Recently India Post enhanced the Rural Postal Life Insurance bonus from Rs.50/- to Rs.55/- for every Rs.1,000 of Sum Assured, whereas the traditional insurers give bonus in the range of Rs.45 to Rs.50/- only. For a new policy, the customers don’t have to go to District Headquarters for medical check up and it can be done locally through Government Doctors. Those who don’t possess standard age proof documents can now take Rural PLI policies of upto Rs. One lakh Sum Assured. In summary, PLI is the real Jeevan Bima for the ‘Aam Aadmi’.
I am happy to note that PLI has taken several new initiatives to acquire new customers and retain its market share. Instead of solely depending on its own employees, India Post has started procuring PLI policies through Agents. To improve the customer service PLI registration is being managed through a web-based system and data-base of nearly 10 million policy holders is being managed centrally at the National Data Centre. Very shortly, the web based access will be available to the insurant on status of his policy also. Insurants will be sent an SMS alert on acceptance of policy, on revival of a policy or on settlement of a claim and reminded, if his policy is about to lapse. PLI will soon offer payment of premium in any Post Office of the country and option of payment of Premium through credit/debit card or through electronic clearance from his bank account. I must thank NIC (National Informatics Centre) for e-enabling the PLI operations to provide the benefits of IT to the common man. I am sanguine that with these innovations, PLI will continue to grow its customer base. PLI has always been providing succor to the poor when they need it most. In the same spirit of discharging its social responsibilities, when our Jawans sacrificed their lives in war fronts of Kargil, PLI was the only insurer who settled the claims in favour of their nominees. PLI is not merely an insurance product, it is the hand of GOD for those in need.
The postal department has had a place of pride in our lives. But we have lost that place due to complacency, new technological developments and competition. We need to redefine our strategy to leverage our strengths and tackle our weaknesses. With this aim we have launched ‘Project Arrow’ to revamp the core postal system. Project Arrow is no ordinary project. It is not just about improving the look and feel of the post offices. The core operations are monitored daily to ensure that business process changes are permanent. Project Arrow has been successfully implemented in five hundred Post Offices so far. Not only are we providing services in a better manner but providing better services. We have connected the common man to the world through Information Technology. Shortly, we will be bringing another 4,500 Post offices in this project. I am confident that after Project Arrow Post Offices will become the engine of growth in the rural India and will user in new business opportunities for the department.
I sincerely believe that the social relevance of the Post Office will continue to grow especially as we become the delivery mechanism of social sector schemes such as NREGS. Such schemes provide us with captive opportunities which only we can leverage. However, we cannot afford to become complacent. Our competitors are aware of the market potential of rural India and they are aggressively working to capture this market. I therefore exhort you to recognize the opportunities and the threats facing us and act before it is too late. On this note, let us re-dedicate ourselves to the cause of the ‘aam aadmi’ and work fervently to open his ‘window to the world’.
Postal Life Insurance is the oldest life insurance scheme in the country. PLI started as an in-house insurance scheme for Postal employees in February 1884. It provides life insurance coverage to nearly 10 million of Indians.”