| P. Chidambaram inaugurates the LIC office, as (from left) Lalu Prasad, Nitish Kumar and Ram Vilas Paswan look on. Pix: Deepak Kumar
Patna, Sept. 2: The “aam admi” mantra of Sonia Gandhi, as well as of the Centre, will soon reverberate through lakhs of below poverty line (BPL) families as it comes up with a special life insurance coverage for them.
In what he described as “aam admi jeevan veema yojna”, finance minister P. Chidambaram said: “The government will provide insurance coverage to people living below poverty line in the country.”
“The scheme will be implemented with effect from October 2. We have a target to cover one crore BPL families under the scheme by October 2, 2008,” Chidambaram said, adding: “We will cover 1.57 crore BPL families in all.”
Chidambaram said that the government would pay the entire premium amount in the scheme though he did not explain the share of the states and the Centre.
The finance minister inaugurated the LIC’s zonal office here, which will take care of cases Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa. The opening of the zonal office would play a strong role in the development of the three eastern states taking India’s GDP beyond 9.2 per cent, he said.
Chidambram said that the LIC had so far covered 22 crore people of the country under its various life insurance schemes. “The LIC should go ahead tapping in the vast majority of people still left uncovered.”
Responding to chief minister Nitish Kumar’s demand for special package, Chidambaram said: “We admit that Bihar needs a special package. Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too is concerned on the issue.”
Earlier, Nitish handed over a memorandum to the finance minister demanding a special package of Rs 8,000 crore for the relief and rehabilitation of the flood-affected people across the state.