The Delhi government on Monday announced that it would implement the Centre’s flagship healthcare programme Ayushman Bharat in the 2020-’21 financial year, News18 reported. State finance minister Manish Sisodia made the announcement while presenting the budget in the Delhi Assembly.
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, which is the health insurance programme under Ayushman Bharat, was launched in September. It aims to provide health insurance cover of up to Rs 5 lakh to 50 crore poor families. Until now, Delhi was among states such as West Bengal, Telangana and Odisha who have not adopted the scheme.
“The Delhi government will implement the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana in Delhi in 2020-’21 to provide health insurance cover up to Rs 5 lakh per family every year,” Sisodia said. He also told the Assembly that a budget of Rs 3 crore for the current fiscal year and Rs 50 crore for the next financial year has been allotted to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the Capital.
The announcement comes at a time when India has stepped up efforts to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic has killed nine people in India and infected 468. Globally, over 3,50,000 people have been infected, and over 15,000 have died.
Last year, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, while refusing to implement the healthcare programme, had claimed that Delhi’s healthcare scheme was “10 times bigger” than Ayushman Bharat. The chief minister had claimed that hundreds of thousands of patients from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh visit Delhi for treatment despite the Centre’s healthcare scheme being available in the two states.
On Monday, the Delhi government also increased the 2020-21 budget for water supply and sanitation by around 70%, allocating more funds for unauthorised colonies and wastewater treatment plants, PTI reported.
Sisodia also announced that four decentralised water treatment plants with a capacity of about four million gallons per day each, will be installed on the banks of the Yamuna river. At present, the Delhi Jal Board supplies around 950 million gallons of water per day against the city’s demand of 1,150 million gallons. The government has set aside Rs 3,724 crore for implementation of the water board’s projects in 2020-’21, Sisodia said.
Another Rs 467 crore had been allotted allotted for the “lifeline water subsidy scheme” for providing 20,000 litres water free to six lakh beneficiaries every month, he added. Sisodia said the government will continue to provide 20,000 litres of water free to every household in Delhi and aims to provide round-the-clock water supply by 2024.