Hyderabad: It is being touted as world’s largest healthcare scheme, but the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) proposed in the Union Budget 2018-19 to provide Rs 5 lakh health insurance to 10 crore families each has no specific guidelines for its implementation.
The Centre did not declare modalities for the scheme’s implementation, besides making a meagre allocation of Rs 2,000 crore.
Speaking to press persons here on Friday, TRS MP B Vinod Kumar urged Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to clarify on modalities for implementation of the much-hyped healthcare scheme.
“We welcome the scheme which would benefit crores of people in the country. But the scheme lacks clarity over its implementation including schedule for its roll out, criteria to identify beneficiaries, and other pre-launch exercises,” he said.
Kumar said experts hinted at an expenditure of Rs 2 lakh crore for NHPS implementation, but the Centre allocated only Rs 2,000 crore for 2018-19. He said though there were indications that the State governments had to partially contribute towards the premium, the Central government made no such proposal to the State government.
He said such schemes require huge preparations including identification of beneficiaries and issuing them with necessary identification cards which was not mentioned by the Union Finance Minister.
The Karimnagar Parliamentarian found fault with Arun Jaitley for not elaborating on proposal to provide Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops. “The announcement is very vague. Further, the Central government is purchasing only 30 per cent crop produce at MSP and the Finance Minister did not clarify whether the Centre would bear the entire expense or the State government has to bear the expenditure for remaining quantity,” he added.
Kumar also found the Union Finance Minister’s statements on upgradation of government hospitals into teaching hospitals contradictory. “Jaitley announced upgradation of 24 government hospitals into teaching hospitals across the country. He said one teaching hospital would be established for every three Lok Sabha constituencies. The two statements are contradictory,” Kumar added.
Though an announcement was made to fund 99 irrigation projects under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), he said no specific allocations were mentioned for Kaleshwaram and Palamuru-Rangareddy projects requested by the State.
Responding to a question, the MP said the TRS MPs were giving issue-based support to the Centre and would continue the same diplomacy to ensure maximum benefits for the State. He said efforts of the MPs resulted in speedy permissions for irrigation projects including Kaleshwaram and Sitarama projects.