West Bengal Finance Minister slams Centre's new health scheme

Published: 07 February, 2018 21:49 IST | PTI | Kolkata

West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra today slammed the proposed National Health Protection Scheme od the Centre saying it was announced without consulting the states and is a 'bluff' to the nation

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West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra today slammed the proposed National Health Protection Scheme od the Centre saying it was announced without consulting the states and is a 'bluff' to the nation. Speaking at a discussion on budget in the Assembly today, Mitra said, "It is a bluff"' He said Rs 2,000 crore for insuring 50 crore people is grossly inadequate and the Centre is now proposing to put 40 per cent of the cost burden on states for rolling out the scheme on a 60:40 basis.

Later, speaking to PTI outside the House, Mitra said, the health scheme has been announced to 'mislead' people of India and it was done 'unilaterally' like in the cases of
Goods and Service Tax (GST) and demonetisation. "Where is the consultative body," Mitra wondered The health scheme, announced in the 2018-19 Union Budget, is likely to be rolled out within October this year.

However, Mitra did not mention whether the state will eventually hoin the scheme or not. He said West Bengal already offers free medical services and medicines to its people. The state offers health cover to various section of people worth around Rs 1,300 crore. 

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