Bhubaneswar: The ruling BJD in Odisha on Thursday claimed that the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme, despite having received an increased allocation in the 2023-24 Budget, cannot live up to the Naveen Patnaik government’s Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) in terms of coverage.
The Centre had on multiple occasions urged the Odisha government to implement the Ayushman Bharat scheme, but the state has so far resisted the move, contending that the homegrown programme was way more beneficial.
Addressing a press meet here, BJD leaders Shreemaye Mishra and Goutambuddha said that the state unit of the BJP was trying to “mislead people with false claims one of which is that such the central health scheme offered better aid than the state government programme”.
“The Union Budget has exposed the Odisha BJP’s false propaganda on Ayushman Yojana. Only Rs 7,200 crore has been allocated for the scheme, which, if divided among 28 states and 8 Union Territories, leaves 200 crore per annum for each.
“The Odisha government spends about Rs 6,000 crore under BSKY, which, on an average, ensures Rs 200 crore annual coverage for every district of the state,” Mishra explained.
This apart, she pointed out, a woman can only avail treatment of Rs 5 lakh under the central scheme, which is half of what she is entitled to get under BSKY.
Similarly, for organ transplants, too, the state-run scheme provides more aid, she said.
“Can BJP leaders rebuff these figures? Do they have the courage? They won’t and they can’t. The saffron party is creating a false narrative for vested political interests,” she stated. The BJD leader also asserted that the state government has so far received favourable responses to its health scheme.
“If BJP leaders fail to understand the difference between the two schemes, we will be happy to explain it again with figures,” she added.
Responding to the assertions, BJP state president Samir Mohanty said the state should first release the names of beneficiaries under BKSY before “making tall claims”. “The BJD is levelling politically motivated allegations against our party.
“Let the state government come out with a list of names who have benefited from BSKY and the services they have availed. Only then we will talk more on this matter,” he added.