FinMin Sharma directs IB to expand insurance coverage to rural areas

Published On: September 1, 2022 06:30 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 1: Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has instructed the Beema Samiti (Insurance Board) to expand the insurance coverage to far-flung areas. 

Inaugurating the Board’s provincial office in Surkhet amidst a program here today, the minister urged the Samiti to ensure access of people from outlying areas to insurance coverages. "A majority of the population in Karnali is out of insurance coverage," he said.   

He added that the establishment of the Samiti's province offices 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 the rural and remote areas, too. "The insurance service should be trustworthy and reach even the 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 programs. Only 11 percent of the population in Karnali have access to insurance. "Lets' orient them about insurance literacy," the Finance Minister reiterated. 

He also took time to complain that the insurance companies did not ensure timely payment of the insurance amount and did not pay the amount as claimed by the claimants. He urged the people concerned to make the services reliable. 

The overall regulation of the insurance business, security of the insurance policy subscribers and insurance literacy should be the priorities of the companies, he said, adding that over 12,000 people are directly employed in this sector and that the government is preparing 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 Karnali Province, Chandra Bahadur Shahi, expressed his belief that farmers of the province will benefit from the establishment of the office. 

Minister for Economic Affairs and Planning, Krishna Shah (Acharya) spoke of 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 the Ministry of Finance.



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