Punjab Cabinet Wednesday gave in-principle approval to implement the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana in the state, extending the central government scheme to cover more than 42 lakh families, instead of the proposed 14.96 lakh. The cabinet decided to set up a committee under the chief secretary to work out financial modalities to implement the scheme at an estimated cost of ₹300 crore, by cutting the budget of other departments, where necessary, according to an official spokesperson. While PMJAY had proposed to cover 14.96 lakh families as per the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data, the Punjab government has decided to extend the scheme to provide ₹5 lakh insurance cover to 42 lakh of the total 61 lakh families in the state. These include families of farmers, construction workers and small traders, as well as the other poor families covered under the Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Bima Yojana (BPSSBY).
The Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM), which was renamed as PMJAY, seeks to provide a coverage of ₹5 lakh per family annually. The Punjab Cabinet also authorized Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to rename the scheme for Punjab, where the ruling Congress in its election manifesto had committed itself to providing universal health insurance. The spokesperson said the estimated cost of annual premium at the rate of ₹1082 per family would be shared between the central and state governments in the ratio of 60:40, which would cost ₹65 crore to the state government annually. The cabinet also gave concurrence to extend the period of the state’s BPSSBY, expiring on October 31, for three months or implementation of revised scheme, whichever is earlier. Punjab launched BPSSBY in 2015 to provide health insurance cover of ₹50,000 per family per year to about 30 lakh blue card holders and 7.90 lakh other families. – Business Standard