PRAVASI BHARATIYA BIMA YOJANA
In an effort to safeguard the interests of the emigrant workers, the Government of India had initially introduced the “Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana, 2003”, an insurance scheme compulsory for those emigrants who need Emigration Clearance from POEs. After considering the effectiveness of the scheme, the Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana 2006 has been notified on 25th Jan. 2006 with a view to provide broader and higher coverage to the workers.
The salient features of this revised scheme are:
(a) The insurance policy shall be valid for a minimum period of two years or the actual period of employment contract, whichever is longer.
(b) The insured person shall be covered for a minimum sum of five lakh rupees in the event of death or permanent disability leading to loss of employment while in employment abroad.
(c) In case of death, besides the cost of transporting the dead body, the cost incurred on economy class return airfare for one attendant shall also be re-imbursed by the insurance company. The claim for re-imbursement shall be filed with the insurance company within ninety days of completion of the journey. (d) In the event of death or permanent disability due to any accident/physical injury sustained while in employment abroad, the Insurance company shall reimburse the sum assured even after expiry of the Insurance policy provided the accident occurred during currency of the Insurance cover and claim in this regard, is filed within 12 calendar months from the date of accident.
(e) The insurance company shall provide medical insurance cover of a minimum of Rupees fifty thousand only in case of hospitalization of the insured worker in an emergency on grounds of accidental injuries and/or sickness/ailments/diseases occurring during the period of insurance whether in India or in the country of his employment.
(f) The insurance company shall either provide cashless hospitalization and/or re-imburse the actual medical expenses in the event of (e) above provided the medical treatment is taken in India.
(g) If the insured person falls sick or is declared medically unfit to commence or continue or resume working and the service contract is terminated by the foreign employer within the first twelve months of taking the insurance cover, the actual one-way Economy Class airfare shall be re-imbursed by the insurance company provided the grounds for repatriation are certified by the concerned Indian Mission/Post and the Air-tickets are submitted in original.
(h) On arrival at his work place or destination abroad, if the emigrant worker is not received by the employer or if there is any substantive change in the job/Employment Contract/Agreement to the disadvantage of the insured person, or if the employment is prematurely terminated within the period of employment for no fault of the emigrant, the Insurance Company shall re-imburse oneway Economy Class airfare provided the grounds for repatriation are certified by the concerned Indian Mission/Post and the Air-tickets are submitted in original.
(i) In cases where the repatriation is arranged by the Indian Mission/Post, the Insurance Company shall reimburse the actual expenses to the concerned Indian Mission/Post.
(j) The Insurance under this policy shall also provide maternity benefits to women emigrants subject to a minimum cover of twenty thousand rupees. In case of medical treatment in the country of employment, the maternity benefits would be provided only if the requisite documents are certified by the concerned Indian Mission/Post. The re-imbursement shall be restricted to actuals.
(k) The family of the emigrant worker in India consisting of spouse and two dependent children upto twenty one years of age shall be entitled to hospitalization cover in the event of death or permanent disability of the insured person for an amount not exceeding twenty five thousand rupees per annum.
(l) An insured person shall be covered for a minimum sum of twenty-five thousand rupees in connection with the legal expenses incurred by him in any litigation relating to his /her employment, provided the necessity of filing such case is certified by appropriate Ministry of that country. The actual expenses incurred will be certified by the concerned Indian Mission/Post.
(m) The insurance companies shall charge fair and reasonable premium. Service tax will be charge as applicable.
Further, the Government has stipulated that an emigrant can select a company of his choice while seeking the insurance cover, having fixed the premium for the scheme at a fair and market determined price.
Airfare Deposit Withdrawn
After introduction of the compulsory Pravasi Bhartiya Bima Yojna in 2003, the Government has withdrawn the requirement to deposit one-way economy class airfare for any individual emigrant.
Withdrawal of deposits by returnee emigrants
Before 25-12-2003, every individual going abroad for employment was required to deposit one-way air fare as security. Such emigrant is entitled to withdraw the security deposit after lapse of a period of three years and for withdrawal of deposit, he/she is required to personally present his passport and used ticket alongwith the Bank Receipt to the POE concerned. The deposit could be withdrawn from the Bank after taking approval from the POE. The requirement of deposit of security has been withdrawn w.e.f 25-11-2003, i.e. after the introduction of the Pravasi Bhartiya Bima Yojana.
Induction Course for prospective emigrant workers to be employed in Malaysia
• Indian workers going to Malaysia for employment purposes are required to attend a mandatory induction course of two weeks duration and pass an objective test.
• The course is conducted by agencies approved by the Malaysian Government.