The Union Minister of Communications & I.T. Thiru. A. Raja launched the National Micro Insurance Drive for Rural Postal Life Insurance (PLI) at Sholur Mattam, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu today.
The Minister informed in his speech that Postal Life Insurance is being provided by the Department of Posts since as far back as 1884. Started as a Welfare Scheme for Postal employees alone, Postal Life Insurance has been extended to cover Central and State Government Employees, personnel of Defence forces and Paramilitary and Employees of Public Sector Undertakings and Banks. Rural PLI was introduced by Department of Posts in 1995 with a specific mandate to cover people living in rural areas with emphasis on weaker section in general and women in particular. Till March, 2009, there were around 4 million PLI policies and around 7.8 million Rural PLI policies.
In keeping with its mandate to cover weaker sections of the society in rural areas with special focus on women, the Department of Posts launched the Proof of Concept for Micro Insurance Drive focussing on providing insurance cover to the weaker sections in rural areas. The existing policies of Rural Postal Life Insurance with a Sum Assured of Rs.10,000/- to Rs.25,000/- were propagated in this scheme. In a short span of about a month, more than 1.3 million rural lives have been covered under this scheme.
The Minister informed that the Rural Postal Life Insurance policies are being marketed now not only by the Postal staff and Gramin Dak Sewaks but by also engaging Direct Agents, Aanganwadi workers, Self Help Groups and Co-operatives to facilitate people to get themselves covered under Rural Postal Life Insurance. He also distributed policy documents to Insurants and Licences to Direct Agents on this occasion.
The Minister lauded the Department of Posts with special mention of Postal Circles of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh for their commendable performance in the Proof of Concept for Micro Insurance and hoped that more and more people living in rural areas would be able to get the benefit of insurance cover under this scheme.
The function started with a welcome address by Thiru. S.K. Sinha, Chief General Manager, Postal Life Insurance. Thiru Uday Balakrishnan, Member, Postal Life Insurance delivered the Key Note address. In his address, he outlined the plans of the Department for expansion of Postal and Rural Postal Life Insurance aimed at providing insurance cover to about 100 million people by 2010. He also informed about the steps being taken by way of Technology upgradation for speedy issue of documents and settlement of claims.
Meant to be an awareness drive for Rural Micro Insurance, the function was well attended by target audience comprising among others, large number of Aanganwadi workers and rural farmers. Thiru K. Ramachandran, Minister for Khadi, Government of Tamil Nadu, Thiru A. Soundarapandiyan, MLA, Coonor, Smt. S. Gomathi, District Panchayat Chairman & District Planning Chairman, Thiru K.M. Raju, Chairman, Kothagiri Panchayat Union, Thiru S.T. Thamizharasan, President, Denad Panchayat were also present on this occasion.