Kolkata: Taking a swipe at the Centre, former Union Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday raised questions on the accessibility to the National Health Protection Scheme.
“I suspect what they will do (I don’t have evidence), they will make access to the scheme so difficult, and the coverage so restrictive, that nobody will bother. For example, it may be said that if you want to access the scheme, you bring your income certificate, local residential certificate, get it attested by government servant. How will a person in Meghalaya where banks are kilometres apart, access the scheme?” Chidambaram asked at an interactive session organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce here.
In his Budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the scheme proposed to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families providing coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.
The Minister had assured of adequate funds for its smooth implementation.
Chidambaram said the government had announced a similar scheme in the previous year’s Budget also.
The government had announced insurance cover of up to Rs 1 lakh for poor and economically weak families.
“Nothing happened. There is no scheme, no Cabinet paper or decision, no funding allocated and the scheme died quietly and nobody spoke about it,” he added.