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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Punjab govt extends Modicare to 42 lakh families in state

The cabinet, at a meeting chaired by chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, decided to set up a committee under the chief secretary, to work out financial modalities for implementation of the scheme at an estimated cost of more than Rs 300 crore.

punjab Updated: Oct 04, 2018 08:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
(HT file )

The Punjab government on Wednesday gave in-principle approval to implement the Centre’s flagship health insurance scheme, Ayushman Bharat—Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), also dubbed as Modicare, and extend it to cover nearly 42 lakh families, instead of 14.96 lakh households eligible as per the criteria.

The decision was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, wherein it was decided to set up a committee under the chief secretary to work out the financial modalities for the implementation of the scheme at an estimated cost of Rs 300 crore.

The state government needed Rs 65 crore to implement the scheme to the eligible families as per the Socio Economic Caste Census-2011, for which the finance department has already given a go-ahead.

The additional cost will be borne by slashing the budget allocations to other departments, it has been learnt.

“By extending this scheme to 42 lakh families of a total of 61 lakh households in the state, the government has fulfilled the Congress’ pre-poll promise of providing universal health cover. These families will get ₹5 lakh annual health cover,” a government spokesperson said.

Besides the families eligible as per the Socio Economic Caste Census-2011, the state government has added families of farmers, construction workers and small traders besides other poor families currently covered under the Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Bima Yojana (BPSSBY).

With 6-7 lakh government employees already covered under insurance schemes, only few rich families are left out of the scheme, thus effectively reaching out to the entire population, the spokesperson said.

The cabinet also authorised the CM to rename the scheme for Punjab.

The estimated annual premium for a family is likely to be Rs 1,082 which will be shared by the Centre and state in 60:40 ratio.

Now, to cover additional 28 lakh families, the state needs Rs 220 crore which will be sourced from the Punjab Mandi Board, the Construction Workers’ Welfare Fund and the excise and taxation department.

Cop who killed Gounder ‘reappointed’ as DSP

The cabinet also decided to “reappoint” inspector Bikram Brar, who led the police team that killed dreaded gangster Vicky Gounder in January this year, as deputy superintendent of police (DSP). Gounder was killed in an encounter in Rajasthan.

Earlier, the government was planning to promote Brar as reward but it would have hit legal hurdle as some of his batch-mates were also pushing for their promotion, claiming to have done “exemplary” work. Brar is presently posted in the organised crime control unit (OCCU) of Punjab Police.

Ghar-Ghar Rozgar and Karobar Mission’ to start

The cabinet also decided to set up the ‘Punjab Ghar Ghar Rozgar and Karobar Mission’ (PGRAKM), with the CM being chairman of its governing council.

The mission will be registered as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, the spokesperson said. The society will focus on the creation of necessary framework to facilitate self-employment to the unemployed youth in the state.

First Published: Oct 03, 2018 13:08 IST