Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

A resident of Wangling chiwog in Mongar gewog was shocked when the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan (RICBL) branch office in Mongar declined to pay the rural life insurance claim of his deceased father who passed away a month ago.

The 40-year-old was told that the gewog had not deposited the premium collection.  “Thinking that it would help us in this kind of difficult time, we have never missed paying annual life insurance.”

Similarly, insurance claims of seven others from the gewog, who died earlier this year, were declined.

The RICBL officials said that the insurance claims could not be paid because the gewog did not deposit premiums for the year 2021, which is why the claims were not permissible as per the financial rules.

RICBL’s Branch Manager, Sangay Chophel, said the gewog failed to deposit the premium collection for 2001-2022 despite giving adequate time for collection time.

He said it would apply uniformly to the rest of people in the gewog until the premium collection is deposited in the RICBL account.

In 2017 the life insurance refund for a person was raised from Nu 15,000 to Nu 30,000. The annual premium for a member was increased to Nu 195 of which the government pays Nu 108.

Mongar Gup Tenzin Wangchuk said, “The gaydrung has allegedly embezzled rural life insurance premium collection worth Nu 0.474 million for the financial year 2021-2022.’’

Subsequently, the gewog human resource committee terminated the gaydrung on January 31.

The case was also forwarded to the police after the gaydrung failed to deposit the amount to RICBL account despite repeated reminders. However, it’s learned that the police did not register the case after reviewing it as it was not in its purview.

Meanwhile, villagers are unsure who will pay them.

“We couldn’t think of managing from other sources. We’re hopeful that the gewog would do something to make some adjustments for final funeral rites,” a villager said.