Unhappy with the conditions of recently unveiled National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) ‘Modicare’, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced that Bengal will not contribute to the world’s largest healthcare scheme. CM Banerjee accused the Central government of taking unilateral decisions and said the state will not waste its hard-earned resources to contribute its share to the programme. Speaking on the scheme, CM said as per the financial conditions of the plan, states have to contribute 40% of the fund. “Why we should spend on Centre’s programme if Bengal already has its own. We will launch our new health programme if we have the resources,” CM Mamata Banerjee retorted. She gave the example of Swasthya Sathi programme, a healthcare scheme by Bengal government, under which 50 lakh people already had been enrolled by the state.

Under the total health expenses of ‘Modicare’, states have to bear Rs 2,000 crore out of total Rs 5,500-6,000 crore a year. The CM also referred to the “paltry” allocation for PM Modi’s Beti Bachao project. “The Centre has floated Beti Bachao with a paltry allocation of Rs 100 crore for the entire country; Bengal has provided for Rs 5,000 crore for its own Kanyashree project,” she said.  Comparing the condition of Bengal farmers with BJP-ruled states, she said her government has given Rs 1,200 crore as a relief to the 30 lakh farmers. Ahead of the panchayat elections in Bengal, Trinamool Congress president said we have also hiked the monthly pension for the aged farmers by Rs 250 a month.

The National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) which will be a joint venture of both Centre and State, according to reports, at least 4 in every 10 people will be able to avail the benefits of this scheme. Speaking on the scheme, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the total outlay of the
scheme would be around Rs 8,000 crore to Rs 10,000 crore, the Centre’s share would be around Rs 4,000 crore. To make sure that the scheme gets implemented properly, a national health survey will be instituted to monitor the developments. While 2011 socio-economic caste census will be the basis to identify the beneficiaries of this scheme.

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