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Health insurance policy to woo farmers

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OST Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Sep 27:

In a bid to woo the farmer- voters ahead of 2014 polls, the Odisha government has decided to launch a new health insurance scheme for farmers under the Biju Krushak Kalyan Yojana (BKKY).
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Briefing newsmen after attending a high level meeting presided over by chief minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat here on Thursday, Agriculture minister Debi Prasad Mishra said the new scheme would benefit at least 60 lakh medium, small and marginal farmers’ families of the state.

He said the process of health insurance for farmers under the new scheme would begin from October and will be completed in two phases. The government has shortlisted five insurance companies to undertake the programme and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) has been asked to develop software for the programme, he said.

Talking about the implementation of the new scheme, the minister said that it would be made operational in South, Central and Nothern zone. Stating that rising expenditure on medical treatment is one of the major reasons for indebtedness of the farmers’ households which puts them in great distress, he said the new scheme would provide much needed relief to the farmers and their family members in the event of accident and disability.

“Each farmer family will have to pay a minimum premium of Rs 30 per annum. The benefit will be available to members of the family of the farmers, including the head of the household, his spouse and three dependents”, Mishra pointed out.

The health insurance cover will be for Rs 30,000 for which the state government has provided Rs 100 crore for the implementation of the scheme under the BKKY.

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