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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch three social security schemes on Saturday in Kolkata. While the schemes were announced in the last budget, Mr. Modi will be formally launching the schemes in a south Kolkata auditorium in presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
This is the first time Mr Modi is visiting West Bengal, since coming to power in 2014. Also, this the first time Mr. Modi and Ms. Banerjee will share the dais.
Two of schemes – Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) – are insurance schemes, while the third one Atal Bima Yojana (APY) would address “old age income security needs” according to an official release.
The schemes will be simultaneously launched across the country by Chief Ministers of respective states and a host of Union Ministers, said Hasmukh Adhia, the Secretary, Department of Financial Services.
“Precisely in 115 places the scheme will be launched simultaneously and its launch in Kolkata by the Prime Minister could be seen real time in those places,” Mr. Adhia told the journalists in Kolkata. The schemes will be launched by the Chief Minister in 13 states, while in eight states the respective Governors will announce formally.
PMSBY will be available to people from 18 to 70 with a savings bank account at a premium of Rs. 12 per year, for accidental death or disability due to accident and will be administered through public sector insurance companies or other general insurance companies.
PMJJBY, on the other hand will offer a renewable one year life cover of Rs. 2 lakh to all savings bank account holders in the age group of 18 to 50, covering death due to “any reason” for a annual premium of Rs. 330.
APY, the third scheme, will also be launched on Saturday in Nazrul Mancha, in south Kolkata. It will focus on the unorganised sector and provide subscribers a fixed minimum pension between one to five thousand per month, once the person attains the age of 60. The pension amount will depend on the contribution option exercised on entering the scheme at an age between 18 and 40.
“To popularise the schemes, approximately Rs. 150-200 crores will be spend every year,” Mr. Adhia said. Many have interpreted the schemes as BJP’s answer to UPA’s scheme in its first term between 2004-2009. In West Bengal, CPI(M)-led Opposition has interpreted the scheme “as a product of panic” after BJP’s successive electoral debacle over last one year, since 2014 Lok Sabha election.
Besides the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister, the Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi will attend the launch programme. Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha and M.P. Babul Supriyo will also be present.
Prime Minister is also expected to meet Ms. Banerjee separately and a 11-member BJP delegation in the Governor’s House later in the evening.
From: The Hindu