Finance Minister Sharma directs for expanding insurance coverage to rural areas

KATHMANDU

Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has instructed the Beema Samiti (Insurance Board) to expand the insurance coverage to far-flung areas.

Inaugurating the Samiti’s provincial office in Surkhet amidst a programme here today, the Minister urged the Samiti to ensure access of people from outlying areas to insurance facility. “Majority of population in Karnali are out of insurance coverage.”

He said the establishment of the Samiti’s province office aims to decentralize its rights to the province level and now its presence should not be just centered in the urban areas, it should reach to rural and remote areas, too. “The insurance service should be trustworthy and reach rural areas.”

According to the Minister, the expansion of insurance coverage to villages is also a dimension of federalism and it is urgent to visit rural areas with insurance literacy programme.

Only 11 per cent of population in Karnali have access to insurance, and the figure is too less. “Lets’ orient them about insurance literacy,” the Finance Minister reiterated.  He also took time to complain that the Beema Company did not ensure timely payment of the insurance amount and did not pay the amount as claimed by the claimant, he urged the people concerned to make the services reliable.

Overall regulation of the insurance business, security of the insurance policy subscribers and insurance literacy should be the priorities of the Company, he said, adding that over 12,000 people are directly employed in this sector and the government prepares to open an Insurance College to address the shortage of human resources in this sector.

He said, “The government has proposed an Insurance Authority, Insurance Institute and Insurance Information Center like structures and a separate college is necessary to produce necessary graduates in the field. The government will prepare curricula and open a college.”

During the inaugural session, minister for land management, agriculture and cooperatives of the Karnali Province, Chandra Bahadur Shahi, expressed his belief that farmers of the Province will be benefitted from the establishment of the office.

Minister for economic affairs and planning Krishna Shah (Acharya) spoke the need of bringing a special insurance package targeting poor households while Samiti Chairman Surya Prasad Silwal pledged to diversify the insurance business and run insurance programmes focusing on the minimization of poverty.

Beema Samiti is the insurance regulatory authority of Nepal which functions under Ministry of Finance.

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