Increase reach of LIC schemes, panel suggests

Increase reach of LIC schemes, panel suggests

New Delhi: Concerned over low insurance cover among women, a parliamentary committee has asked the finance ministry to take immediate steps to increase the reach of Life Insurance Corp. of India (LIC) schemes among poor sections.

The ministry should take “urgent" steps to promote such schemes in Union territories and states lagging behind in implementation of these, said the committee on empowerment of women. It also suggested that the ministry should devise a mechanism for timely disbursement of the allocated amount under the scheme.

According to a report submitted by the committee to the Lok Sabha, there has been a decrease in coverage of women under the Janshree Bima Yojana, from 593,324 in 2004-05 to 478,050 in 2005-06.

The panel said the scheme has not been designed in conformity with the need of the changing times. Further, the committee said the amount provided as scholarship under the Aanganwadi Karyakartri Bima Yojana, which is Rs300 per quarter per child, is “inadequate to meet the educational requirements of a child for three months".

Expressing displeasure over the reply given by the finance ministry, the committee said that “instead of taking any concrete step in this regard, ministry and LIC have brushed aside the issue by merely stating that the matter would be considered at an appropriate time". Besides, the ministry has also not been able to disburse the amount allocated for the scheme during 2006-07, the committee said.

The committee further said that the response to the Aanganwadi Karyakartri Bima Yojana has been low from Union territories, besides Delhi and Chandigarh. The committee suggested that the ministry should find out the reasons for low coverage of women and take steps to make the schemes more innovative.