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West Bengal pulls out of Centre’s flagship Ayushman Bharat scheme

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Kolkata, Jan 10: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee withdrew the state from its share of Ayushman Bharat, asking the Centre to pay the complete amount if it wants to run the scheme.

"We will no longer contribute to Ayushman Bharat. Why should we contribute to Ayushman Bharat if the Prime Minister's face is on the letterhead with a picture of lotus, instead of the symbol of the Indian government," Banerjee said today.

West Bengal pulls out of Centre’s flagship Ayushman Bharat scheme

My state will not contribute 40% of the funds for the Ayushman scheme, she said.

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Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which is expected to cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.

Interestingly, West Bengal, along with Bihar and Chhattisgarh had emerged as the largest beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat last year. Out of the total government spend of Rs 798.34 crore on the scheme till November-end, West Bengal was allotted a total of Rs 193.34 crore, including Rs 16.78 crore administrative expenses, Union Minister Anupriya Patel had said earlier.

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