In an effort to further safeguard the interests of emigrant workers from India, the Government of India has introduced the Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana (PBBY), an insurance scheme compulsory for all workers going abroad on ECR passports (except to countries for which emigration check is not required) for employment.
It was during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the annual conclave of the Indian diaspora, held in 2003 that the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, announced the scheme.
Salient features of Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana
Besides offering a cover of Rs. 10 lakh, the insurance scheme offers several other benefits to the emigrant worker and his/her dependants.
In case of death, besides the cost of transporting the body, the cost incurred on the one-way airfare of one attendant is reimbursed by the insurance company.
If a worker is not received by the employer on his arrival at the destination abroad or there is any substantive change in the employment contract to his disadvantage or if the employment is prematurely terminated within the period of employment for no fault of the emigrant, the insurance company reimburses one way economy class airfare provided the grounds of repatriation are certified by the Indian Mission/post concerned.
In cases where the repatriation is arranged by the Indian Mission/post, the insurance company reimburses the actual expenses to the Indian Mission/post concerned.
The insurance policy is valid for a minimum period of two years or the actual period of contract, whichever is longer.
The insured person is covered for a minimum sum of Rs. 25,000 in connection with the legal expenses incurred by him in any litigation relating to his/her employment. In case of women workers the policy provides maternity benefit of Rs 20,000.