At the NREGA meet last week, Congress MP Mabel Rebello raised an important and very valid query about the high cost of involving Life Insurance Corporation of India in the employment guarantee scheme. She calculated that LIC is paid Rs 400 annually per NREGA worker which works out to a yearly premium of Rs 1,000 crore. Citing the example of Jharkhand, Rebello pointed out that there were only two accidental NREGA-related deaths in Jharkhand for the whole year. LIC was earning enormously from a scheme meant for the poorest sections of society. She felt a smarter alternative would be to pay every district collector Rs 10 lakh per year. In the eventuality of an NREGA worker’s death, the collector would be in a position to pay Rs 1 lakh to the next to kin within 24 hours.
(from Coomi Kapoor's Inside Track in The Sunday Express, 3 July 2011)