With `loose change’, banks build Rs 260-cr trust for disabled

Family Floater Scheme To Be Relaunched
Every paisa the banks have saved by rounding off each debit and credit entries in your accounts have created a corpus of Rs 260 crore. The government has formed a trust headed by the Comptroller and Auditor General to utilize the earnings from this fund for the welfare of the differently abled.In a meeting on Wednesday, it has been decided to relaunch a health insurance family floater scheme, now making it available for persons with disabilities –from newborns to the age of 65–with a coverage of Rs 2 lakh per annum. The trust already provides scholarship for the targeted group.
The Swavlambam health insurance scheme was first launched on October 2 last year providing coverage to persons with disabilities between 18-65 age group.Now, the scheme has been expanded to 0-65 age group.It provides health insurance cover up to Rs 2 lakh per annum as family floater–family being self, spouse and two children. Only 10% contribution is paid by the beneficiary and rest is borne by the trust.

The trust also offers maintenance allowance of Rs 2,500-3,000 per month, book stationery allowance of Rs 6,000-10,000 per annum, laptopdesktop, brailler and hearing aids of Rs 40,00070,000 as part of a scholarship scheme. The eligibility for the scholarship has been fixed at not less than 50% marks in higher secondary graduation level for students.

On Wednesday, the trust members decided to reduce the minimum eligibility for girls to 45% marks obtained in higher secondarygradu ation level exams.

The trust was created on the directions of the Supreme Court and was notified on November 21, 2006. The primary objectives of the trust include promoting employment, scholarships for pursuing technical or professional courses and promoting all-round skill and entrepreneurial development.

The fund is managed by the CAG as it’s chairman and the law secretary and the finance secretary as its members. The corpus of the trust would be the excess amount collected from the banks by way of rounding off interest tax collected from various borrowers under the Interest Tax Act.

The trust with the help of the finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India has managed to create a corpus of about Rs 260 crores deposited in fixed deposits in nationalized banks. The interest amount earned out of the corpus is being spent on the welfare of disabled persons.