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Only half of Rs 6,400 crore fund utilised for Centre’s flagship PMJAY scheme

NEW DELHI:  Funds under the Centre’s flagship health insurance scheme Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana have remained grossly unspent in the current fiscal, indicating massive under-utilisation of the programme that was projected as a panacea to solve the healthcare woes of the poor in the country.

The latest data shows that in the revised estimates under the PMJAY, the Finance Ministry has sanctioned just Rs 3,200 crore of the originally allocated Rs 6,400 crore for the scheme. Despite this, a total allocation of Rs 6,400 crore was announced for the scheme for the next fiscal in the Union Budget two days ago.

The scheme was launched in September 2018 in order to provide cashless secondary and tertiary healthcare services of up to Rs 5 lakh to nearly 10.74 crore most vulnerable families or over 50 crore individuals.

Officials running the programme said that under-utilisation of the fund is on account of four key states — West Bengal, Odisha, Telangana and Delhi — opting out of the scheme and inability to trace nearly 30 per cent of the intended beneficiaries as per the Sociology — economic and caste census data, 2011 — that was to serve as database to identify the beneficiaries.