Union food processing industry minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Saturday rebuked Punjab government for turning down the Central government’s pro-poor health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat.
In a Press statement, the Union minister said the Amarinder Singh government’s refusal to implement the Ayushman Bharat scheme, a Central government-funded health insurance scheme being implemented pan India, had exposed its anti-poor and anti-people mindset.
“The Modi government has started a Rs Five Lakh per family health insurance for 50 Crore people but strangely the Punjab government has rejected it and is implementing a scheme which offers a medical cover of only Rs 50,000” she added.
Divulging details of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, the Union Minister said under the scheme the Union health ministry had set a target of providing an insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year to 50 crore beneficiaries.
She said the financial burden of this health scheme were to be borne by the Centre and the states on a 60:40 ratio respectively.
“But Punjab government has run away from implementing the scheme by claiming it would be an additional burden on the state exchequer. Saying the Congress government always started ranting about empty treasuries whenever it was tasked with doing public good,” she said the government apparently had enough money for renovating ministerial bungalows and luxurious vehicles but no money for a medical insurance scheme for the poor.
“Once you put forward any proposal for the welfare of the state and its people you will find the Congress finance minister making excuse of lack of funds. These excuses however stop when he has to dole out largess to his ministerial colleagues” Badal added.
Even as Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Union Territory (UT) Chandigarh on Monday signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Centre for implementation of ‘Ayushman Bharat’, a flagship scheme of Modi government, in the presence of Union health and family welfare minister, JP Nadda in Shimla, Punjab chose to back out.