This makes West Bengal the first state to withdraw from the ambitious programme.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday opted out of the Centre’s National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS). The scheme, which was announced in Union Budget 2018-19, clashes with a similar scheme called ‘Swasthya Sathi’ of the state. It has already enrolled 45 lakh families covering 2.5 crore population and won’t contribute to the programme, Banerjee said.
With this, the state becomes the first in the country to withdraw from the ambitious scheme, reports The Times of India.
"The Centre has drawn up a health plan in which 40 percent of the fund has to come from states. But why should the state spend on another programme when it already has its own? A state will have its own scheme if it has the resources,” she said.
Under NHPS, the Centre will bear 60 percent of the cost by setting aside Rs 2,000 crore in the Budget and wants states to fund the balance, the cost of which is pegged at around Rs 10,000 crore a year.
Also known as ‘Modicare’, NHPS is the world’s largest government healthcare scheme that will cover 10 crore poor families with an insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakh per year.“We have done it even after the Centre takes away Rs 48,000 crore a year for debt-servicing the loan liability left behind by the preceding CPM government,” said Banerjee.