West Bengal government has decided to opt out of central health insurance scheme 'Modicare'. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday lambasted the Narendra Modi government for declaring the policy without consulting with the states.
Speaking at a public rally in Krishnanagar, Banerjee said the state will not “waste” its hard-earned resources to contribute its share to the programme.
“The Centre has drawn up a health plan in which 40% 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,” the CM said.
The firebrand leader said that West Bengal already has a health insurance scheme Swasthya Sathi programme in place for around 50 lakh people, who are government employees and contractual or casual labourers.
"There is nothing new in this (Modicare). We cannot accept the Modi government’s diktat," she added.
Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has pegged the expenses for the Centre’s health plan at Rs 5,500-6,000 crore a year. The Centre has made a provisional allocation of Rs 2,000 crore and wants states to bear the rest.
The chief minister also criticised marginal fund allocation to flagship social welfare schemes like 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana'. “Look at the financial allocations in the project. Rs 100 crore for all over India. Which means Rs 3 crore for my state which has a population of 10 crore. So per person allocation would be Rs 0.30.” She added that she has already spent Rs 1,200 crore for providing education to girls in the state.
The chief minister also threatened to launch an agitation if the Central government decides to go ahead with the FRDI Bill. “Through this bill, they would take away your fixed deposits. They have also said that bank would not accept cash. If people would not deposit cash then they would park their money with chit funds. Will that be good?”she asked.
“If they don’t take it (FRDI Bill) back, I have decided to start a massive protest.”
She has also asked people in the state to ensure that the BJP does not win panchayat elections. “Then the development process would be hampered. In all seats our people should win,” she said.
She claimed that the Union government only talks, but does not do any concrete work. “They start project in any name. Give small allocations. Then they take it back suddenly. We are not like this. We always keep our promise,” she said.