In what appears to be another move to placate the distressed farmers, traders and workers, the state government has come out with a comprehensive social security plan for them.
The agrarian economy took a hit after the multi-crore rupee pesticide scam resulted in whitefly attack on cotton crop.
Under the plan, the government proposes to offer free cashless insurance for health and personal accident cover to over 40 lakh families of peasants, traders and landless workers in the state.A proposal to this effect, prepared by the Departments of Agriculture, Excise and Taxation and Labour, would come up for approval at the meeting of the state Council of Ministers, scheduled here, on Thursday, a top government functionary told The Tribune, here today.
The development assumes significance as it comes at a time when the state is on the boil over the incidents of sacrilege and agrarian crisis, causing unrest among various sections of the society.
Also, the initiative is aimed at wooing voters for the ensuing Khadoor Sahib Assembly by-election, which has become imminent following the acceptance of Congress MLA Ramanjit Singh Sikki’s resignation on Tuesday.
Will be rolled out next Jan
Under the proposed scheme, which is likely to be rolled out from next January, the government would offer health insurance cover of Rs 50,000 and accident insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh to ‘J’ form holder agriculture producers, who bring their produce to purchase centres of Mandi Board, registered VAT dealers and landless farmers in the state.
The officer disclosed that the entire premium of the health and personal accident insurance cover would be paid by the state government to ensure social security and financial safety of these sections of the society.
“The scheme mooted by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal at a special meeting held here on Friday has been cleared by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal while the Cabinet would accord it a formal approval,” the officer revealed.
The scheme would be covered under the existing Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Bima Yojana (BPSSBY) of the Health and Family Welfare Department, which was launched on October 2.