Jammu and Kashmir cabinet today approved an insurance scheme ‘ASRA’ to cover widows, destitute women and those living Below Poverty Line (BPL) in the state.
“The most significant welfare measure taken so far is the scheme called ASRA (support). The scheme will cover BPL families, widows and destitutes and its premium will be paid in full by the government,” Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu told reporters after the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed here.
Drabu, who was flanked by Education minister Nayeem Akhtar, said the cabinet approved the scheme for implementation as the government wants to make Jammu and Kashmir a welfare state.
“In the budget speech, I have said that we must make some provisions for those living below poverty line. The whole idea behind this was to give finance a developmental focus. It is not only about contractual payments and salaries.
“It is about wider role finance has to play in the developmental economy. Those living below poverty line should have some social security. We have realised this post flood situation,” Drabu said.
He said the scheme covers all bread winners of families that have income below Rs 75,000 per annum.
“What we have observed is when the death of a bread winner happens, the family collapses and becomes destitute. So we want to ensure if a bread winner dies, there is enough security,” he said.
Referring to the welfare schemes announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi early this year, the Finance minister said “we have combined both the policies in our scheme and whatever the premium will be paid by the state government.
“In the PM announced scheme you have to pay Rs 12 and Rs 330 as premium annually, but I think those who are unable to manage food how can they even pay such a premium,” he said adding “You can’t secure your future if your present is insecure.”
The state government will bear the premium of all these policies and will cover the entire segment of the destitute and BPL families in the state, he added.
“The other part is National family benefit scheme which provides one time assistance of Rs 20,000… Apart from being fully insured for BPL, there will be additional Rs 20,000 for a bread winner in case he dies. So this is a substantial amount of two lakhs or two and a half lakhs or three lakhs,” he said