Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Monday, Jul 04, 2005
Industry & Economy - Gender
Money & Banking - Life Insurance
Maharashtra to launch special insurance scheme for women
Mumbai , July 3
THE Maharasthra Government proposes to launch a unique insurance scheme exclusively for women in the State.
According to Mr Harshavardhan Patil, Minister for Women and Child Development, Maharashtra, the proposed scheme would cover about 1.5 crore women over the age of 18.
Mr Patil told Business Line that the scheme would be launched in August-September and would cover women who are below the poverty line, handicapped, widowed and landless.
The scheme will be valid for five years.
According to the Minister, the State Government is negotiating with six insurance companies and July 15 has been set as the final date for them to submit the proposals.
The Minister said the premium for the policies would be as low as Re 1 or Rs 2 and the coverage would be Rs 10,000 for minor accidents, Rs 50,000 for partial disability and Rs 1,00,000 in the event of death.
The annual budget for the scheme has been pegged at Rs 4-5 crore, which would be borne by the State Government.
The scheme will also provide mediclaim facilities for maternity, breast cancer and other women-related health conditions.
Mr Patil said the aim of the scheme is to provide financial support to the woman in case of an accident or to her family on her death.
"We hope to insure about 1.5 crore women who fit into the criteria we are working on," he said.
Schemes such as Farmers Insurance Policy, Jijamata Mahila Veema Yojana (JMVY) and Rajiv Gandhi Veema Yojana (for students) have been implemented in the State.
The JMVY scheme, which was operational in 2001-2002, met with limited success.
"The insurance company managing the JMVY scheme received Rs 3 crore as premium but reported very few claims.
There was little awareness about the insurance plan, which defeated the purpose of offering this benefit."
Mr Patil said that the Government plans to make a concerted effort to spread awareness by harnessing the support of 1.35 lakh Anganwadi female workers and Mahila Bal Vikas departments of Nagar Parishads and Zilla Parishads.
"It will take six months to implement this scheme. Even at the Gramasabha level, we will hold meetings to spread the message.
We hope that this will empower the women of Maharashtra," he said.
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