Union Food Processing Industry minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today rebuked the Captain Amrinder Singh government for turning down the central government’s pro-poor.health insurance scheme, saying it had been proved time and again that the welfare of people was not on the Congress government’s agenda.In a statement here, the Union Minister said the Punjab 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, he 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” Mrs Badal added.Criticizing the state government for its callous attitude towards the problems of the state and its people, the Union Minister said there seemed to be no government in Punjab. “Farmers are committing suicide due to non-fulfillment of chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s loan waiver promise. Youth feel betrayed as they are not being given the promised jobs. Even social welfare benefits to Dalits and poor people have been stopped. Now the people of Punjab are being denied a much needed medical insurance scheme”, she added.