VIJAYAWADA: A massive amount of Rs 1.35 lakh crore could be disbursed to beneficiaries and credited directly into their bank accounts the past two years, thanks to transparency and honesty, noted Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. Of this total disbursement, direct benefit transfer schemes account for Rs 95,000 crore, and the remaining was spent on welfare schemes.
Taking pride in the achievement, the Chief Minister directed senior officials at a review meeting on YSR Bima on Wednesday to clear all the pending insurance claims by July 1.
Jagan Mohan Reddy congratulated the officials of the finance department for their hard work in reaching welfare benefits to the public even during Covid times. He said that despite the crippling effect on state finances by the Covid-induced lockdown, the government was moving ahead without holding back any welfare scheme.
On the occasion, the CM asked the officials to implement the YSR Bima scheme with new changes from July 1. Hereafter, the state government would directly provide assistance to the families of the deceased. Insurance of Rs 1 lakh would be paid if an earning member in the 18-50 age group dies naturally, and Rs 5 lakh if a person aged between 18-70 years is killed in an accident.
The CM called for fast settlement of claims by making the process simpler and easier. He asked the officials to reach out to the families which lost earning members. Compensation should be paid within a month of receiving an application.
In addition to these, the Chief Minister told the authorities to compensate for the deaths of farmers, accidental death of fishermen, deaths of livestock, without any delay. He instructed the Collectors to report on all types of insurance claims every three months. Village, ward secretariats could be involved for screening the applications, he said.
The officials explained that the government started the YSR Bima scheme for about 1.4 crore ration cardholders across the state, and was bearing all expenses including premium payment despite the central government withdrawing from the scheme. The Centre used to bear 50 per cent of the premium amount.
The officials pointed out the huge pendency of applications at banks as accounts are neither opened nor linked to insurance.
Even after completing the paper process, 45 days time is treated as a lean period during which compensation is not paid if any earning member dies. Almost 12,039 people died within the 45-day period of taking insurance and no compensation was paid to those families by the banks.
However, the intervention by the Chief Minister saw that Rs 254.72 crore was paid to the affected families on humanitarian grounds.
So far only 60 lakh accounts have been opened and 58 lakh applications are pending. In regard to claims, 6,173 applications were received till date, where only 2,839 documents were uploaded and 152 families received the claim settlement. To make it easy for the distressed families, officials recommended that the government bring in certain changes in the scheme, so the government could compensate families directly under the YSR Bima.