Mandatory Insurance Scheme for migrant workers from India

Venkat Raman

Auckland, January 3, 2018

Citizens of India going overseas on work visas are covered under a special insurance scheme called, ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana.’

The Indian government has made it mandatory for all migrant workers going overseas to be insured under this Scheme, a revised version of which was published by the External Affairs Ministry on December 20, 2017.

The latest version sets out a number of issues favourable to the insured.

Conditions of Cover

However, insurance companies provide cover under this Scheme only to Indian citizens who have proper employment contracts, either from reputed companies or from authorised recruitment agents.

The insurance policy, limited to Indian Rupees 1 million (about $22,210) covers bodily injury, permanent total disablement resulting in loss of employment within 12 months of the bodily injury, death, transportation and airfare for attendant, hospitalisation expenses, employment contingencies and repatriation expenses, legal expenses.

Editor’s Note: The above is only a broad statement of policy. Insurability, premium and other factors may differ from person to person.

Although the Insurance Scheme has been in existence for more than 13 years, it has been strengthened and increased to Rs 1 million in 2008. Most employers employing migrant workers may not be aware that their overseas employees are protected, if they have obtained insurance cover under ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana.’

Skills Training Programme

Last year, the Indian government set up the ‘Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana’ to upskill Indian workers going abroad for employment.

“This is a short-term programme, ranging from two weeks to one month to prepare candidates holistically to take up challenging assignments in different countries with confidence and meet transnational skill requirements,” a notification said.

“The Programme could be of great help to blue collar workers who get an opportunity to acquire professional skills and be able to communicate in a foreign language, besides getting skilled in particular trades,” it added.

The Programme, managed by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship also aims to train Indian youth to become skilled workers and entrepreneurs in India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Scheme at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held on January 9, 2017 in Bengaluru, stating that the vision is to make India the ‘Skill Capital of the World.’

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Photo Caption: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing the ‘Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana’ initiative at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held in Bengaluru on January 8, 2017. (Picture Source: Prime Minister’s Office, Government of India)

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