Overseas Indian workers to get pension, life insurance

Jaipur: The Indian government Saturday launched a special pension and life insurance scheme that would benefit over 5 million unskilled and semi-skilled workers employed overseas mostly in Gulf countries on temporary contract visas.

The government has created a special fund called Pension and Life Insurance Fund which will be used to partly contribute to a pension and insurance cover to the low-paid workers, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said while launching the scheme here.

The new scheme is launched on the occasion of the 10th annual diaspora meet, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

Almost 1,500 non-resident Indians and person of Indian origin from 54 countries have gathered on the occasion to discuss the issues concerning the overseas Indians and explore business opportunities here.

“The new scheme is entirely voluntary. It is only for those who want to take it” Ravi said.

Under the scheme, the ministry of overseas Indian affairs will provide an annual co-contribution of up to Rs.3,000 for female workers and Rs.2,000 for male Indians working overseas.

Workers will be required to partly contribute for their pension and insurance cover.

Ravi said only those workers who take proper immigration clearance before going abroad would be covered under the scheme.

The scheme provides opportunity to low-paid workers to accumulate savings for resettlement when they return to India.

It also provides life insurance cover for a specified period in case of natural death.

Unskilled and semi-skilled Indians employed mostly in Gulf countries on temporary contracts will benefit under the scheme.

Majority of workers in Gulf countries don’t get life insurance cover as under Islam, insurance against life is not allowed.

The union cabinet had given its approval to the new fund Wednesday.