Free health insurance for elderly; senior citizen allowance to be increased: PM

April 15, 2019

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Kathmandu : Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has announced that the senior citizen allowance would be increased from the next fiscal year. He said so while inaugurating the national campaign for health insurance for senior citizens and opening of bank accounts for all the Nepali.

Addressing the inaugural of the campaign here on the occasion of the Nepali New Year today, PM Oli shared about this. The campaign, jointly launched by the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Health Insurance Board and Nepal Rastra Bank, has a theme - ‘Health Insurance of senior citizens, connect it with prosperity and bank accounts of all Nepali.”

Earlier, the government had introduced the contribution-based social security programme which is funded through the contributions made by the workers and the employers.

Today’s campaign is believed to add another new dimension for the social security agenda of the government. The new campaign has introduced the insurance scheme up to Rs 100,000 for the elderly citizens and the government of Nepal would pay a premium for the same.

Stating that with the inaugural of the campaign a new era had begun in social security sphere,  the prime minister expressed his confidence that there would not be any Nepali not having a bank account and without any money in it.

Terming the newly launched campaign as a revolutionary move, Oli affirmed that Nepal would take a single step forward every day where government would take care of the basic needs and dignity of its citizens.

Underscoring the need to adapt to the e-commerce system, the PM said that we should deal switch from ‘thailee’ (a traditional purse) to cheque book when it comes to dealing with money.

Furthermore, he shared that the government was effortful to promote health among the Nepal and achieve a goal of ‘Healthy Nepal.’

Pointing out the need for insurance and banking for the elderly more than other section of population, PM Oli explained, “The elderly people are greatly in need of insurance and banking than those youthful people who are not easily battered any odds.”

Stating that the entire focus of the government onwards would be laid on building a modern Nepal, he said the government was working speedily in the sectors of agriculture, energy, education and health. 

It may be noted that the major ruling party NCP in the recent election manifesto had promised Rs 5,000 monthly allowance for senior citizens. Presently, they get  Rs 2,000 per month. 

On the occasion, the prime minister took a time to say the government was committed to making the school enrollment and literacy campaigns successful so as to give a message to the world that Nepal is a country of literates and educated. 

“Nepal is not poor in means and resources,” he said, promising an accelerated pace of national development in the days to come.  He announced that Nepali society would be transformed into a peaceful, democratic, civilized and prosperous unit along with guarantee of social justice which as he said would to keep the people happy.

He also extended the New Year best wishes to the senior citizens and the entire Nepali, wishing them good health and happiness and calling upon all to move ahead for nation building campaign.

On the occasion, he handed certificates of opening of bank accounts of his father Mohan Prasad Oli and mother-in-law Dhanamaya Shakya (mother of Radhika Shakya) and cards of free insurance scheme to the rightful owners.  Similarly,  other 55 senior citizens including Jamuna  Gurung, 100; Dr Gaurishankar Lal Das, 94; Tek Bahadur Basnet, 92; Bhairab Risal, 87; and Shobhawati Timalsina, 86 received the insurance cards from the prime minister. 

Also speaking on the occasion, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Upendra Yadav described the right to life as the right to life, adding that the government was committed to implementing this right as people’s basic human right.  “The government is much conscious that no citizen should be deprived of health facilities due to monetary issues. “

According to him, the health insurance scheme brought for senior citizens is a tradition of respect towards them and the government is committed to ensuring quality health services to the people.

Likewise, Finance  Minister Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada said the social security programmes had been stressed to implement the people’s fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution.

Sharing about the government plan of incorporating all the citizen in the health insurance programme, he said the government would help for the insurance of senior citizens above 70 years of age and those living under poverty line. The health insurance programme  is expected to help alleviate poverty, it is said. (RSS)