The government today extended health insurance support to auto and taxi drivers by committing to pay half of the premium amount under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna, which provides smart-card based cashless health insurance cover.
Oscar Fernandes, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, said the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY) scheme will address the health concerns of auto rickshaw drivers and taxi drivers, who form an important and vulnerable segment of the unorganised workers in urban areas.
Under the scheme, auto and taxi drivers have to contribute 50 per cent of premium for the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna, as applicable in that district, in addition to Rs 30 as registration fee, an official statement from the Road Ministry said.
The balance 50 per cent of premium would be shared by the Central and State Government i.e. 25 per cent each.
The nodal officer from Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for the scheme has been nominated, an official statement said.
Nodal officers from States of Karnataka, Kerala, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and West Bengal with their name and contact details are also being notified for the purpose of implementation of the scheme, the statement said.
The auto rickshaw drivers and taxi drivers form an important segment of the unorganised workers in urban areas. The auto rickshaw drivers and taxi drivers are registered presently by the State Transport Authorities.
In order to enroll the auto and taxi drivers under the scheme, states have been requested to identify such auto rickshaw and taxi drivers and prepare data.
Owner-driven rickshaw and auto drivers are also proposed to be covered under this scheme.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment is going to shortly commence enrolment and issuance of smart cards to the beneficiary families under the scheme in Karnataka, Kerala, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and West Bengal.
The State Transport Authorities have been directed to facilitate the enrolment of maximum number of auto rickshaw drivers and taxi drivers with the State Nodal Agencies.
The health insurance scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Labour & Employment since October 1, 2007, providing for smart-card based cashless health insurance cover of Rs 30,000 per family per annum to below poverty line (BPL) families in the undersigned sector.
The scheme coverage has now been extended to auto and taxi drivers in addition to various other categories of unorganised workers.