Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday decided to pull out from Centre’s ‘Ayushman Bharat’ scheme, alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking all the credit for the health scheme while ignoring the state’s contribution.
Addressing a public meet, a visibly angry Mamata said, “He is sending letters to people across Bengal through post offices claiming that they are behind this health scheme.”
The Bengal Chief Minister has accused the Modi government of using government post offices for party work.
The Ayushman Bharat scheme in West Bengal was merged with Mamata’ Swasthya Sathi health scheme, where the state government provides for 40 percent of the total cost.
Crying lack of transparency in the way the Modi government is projecting the scheme, Mamata has decided to withdraw the scheme from Bengal. “Let them take credit,” she said.
‘Ayushman Bharat’ is a National Health Protection Scheme that provides for up to Rs 5 lakh medical coverage to 10 crore poor and vulnerable families.
Bengal is already running a similar scheme, ‘Swasthya Saathi’ since 2017, which provides paperless, cashless and smartcard-based facilities to its citizens. Basic health cover for secondary and tertiary care up to Rs 1.5 lakh a year through insurance mode is provided under the scheme.
Mamata said that the central government’s interference in the state’s affairs and other institutions is an emerging trend. “They finished the CBI, the RBI, the banks and are promoting the culture of loot,” she added.
Earlier, she had issued a circular to change the names of all central government schemes, including Swachh Bharat Abhiyan - which is now known as Mission Nirmal Bangla in West Bengal.
She has also changed schemes nationally known as Aajeevika (National Rural Livelihood Mission) to Anandadhara (State Rural Livelihood Mission), Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) to Banglar Gramin Sadak Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Grameen) to Banglar Griha Prakalpa and Beti Beti Bachao Beti Padhao to Kanyashree.
Recently, Mamata announced that the state government will bear the entire 100 per cent of the crop insurance to farmers because she will not allow the Centre to take credit for the state’s crop insurance scheme by bearing a minuscule 20 per cent of the cost.
Addressing an administrative meeting in Birbhum district, she had said, “From now onwards we will pay the entire amount. The Centre pays only 20 per cent of the cost (crop insurance) and give big lecture.”