In what can really be deemed as a government’s initiative to woo the small traders and medium-sized businesses across the country, which is conventionally believed to be BJP’s strong base, the current government is considering announcing a special life insurance scheme. As the move has come just a month ahead of the general elections, many call it a sheer appeasement move. However, the BJP government has shown interests to easy insurance cover to general masses in the last couple of years too. Keeping this in mind, the announcement can simply be called to provide insurance coverage for small and medium-sized businesses
Just to remind readers that the current government has already launched some big insurance plans for hoi-polloi. The schemes include National Health Protection Scheme, which is the world’s largest government-funded healthcare scheme, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY). The move seems to appease and above all, address certain concerns of this segment, which felt infuriated with the demonetization and GST planks of the incumbent government. The life insurance policy for the GST registered businesses – small and medium scale – will surely give them a sense of satisfaction.
The insurance scheme from the central government might come on similar lines of PMSBY and offer accidental insurance. To top it all, this one of the many life insurance plans available in the market will be offered to traders at a highly affordable premium. The news is also doing the rounds on the web that it could also be based on the scheme that Uttar Pradesh government offers for the traders. In this scheme, traders are expected to get an accidental insurance cover of up to INR 10 lakh basis turnover. The government was expected to announce the scheme by the end of February 2019.
The fact worth mentioning here is that PMSBY life insurance, which is popular life insurance of India, currently provides INR 2 lakh accidental cover for a meagre amount of INR 12 per annum. People aged between 18 to 70 years with a saving bank account can buy this life insurance by simply giving consent to join and enable auto-debit before May 31 every year. The speculations are also there that government is to provide concessional finance to traders who willingly opt for computerization and upgrade their business.
Additionally, the government is to come up with different types of life insurance policies, which also include a special policy aimed at encouraging women entrepreneurs. Adding a higher interest subvention to these entrepreneurs is also under consideration as of now and can be approved in this budget session. The news is also there that out of government procurement which will be mandated for businesses of small and medium size traders, a good percentage is expected to be reserved for women entrepreneurs.
In a move, which many deem as a last minute effort to appease small and medium scale businesses who weren’t happy after GST and demonetization planks, the current government aims to offer them life insurance policy with a cover of up to INR 10 lakh basis the turnover. This is expected to give a great boost to the second biggest employment sector of India.
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