Union home minister Shivraj Patil moved decisively on Tuesday to introduce insurance cover to nearly 7.5 lakh central police force personnel.
Patil is understood to have asked the ministry to finalise the contours of the insurance scheme and seek the necessary financial approvals over the next few months. The scheme is expected to cost the home ministry in the vicinity of Rs 30-35 crore.
The home minister had on Monday announced that the government was considering a proposal in this regard.
So far, only the Central Reserve Police Force had introduced insurance cover ranging from Rs 10 to 15 lakh, depending on the rank of the personnel. But the insurance premium – negotiated at an annual contribution Rs 54 per lakh – in this case is deducted from the salary of the security personnel.
Among the states, the Chattisgarh government is the only one to extend insurance cover to central police personnel fighting naxalites in the state. In this case, they pay out the premium out of security-related central grants.
Officials said there was broad agreement at Tuesday’s meeting that the insurance premium for central police personnel fighting naxalites, insurgents in the northeast and terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir could be paid out of the Centre’s security related expenditure grants. In case of those posted elsewhere, officials said the ministry might have to approach the finance ministry, or even Union Cabinet, for additional allocation under this head.
CRPF director general JK Sinha is also learnt to have articulated the need to have a group medical insurance scheme that covers police personnel and their families. “They are covered by the central group health scheme but facilities under this scheme are not accessible to families living in rural areas,” said an official referring to the CRPF’s proposal.