BJD-BJP Spat Over Odisha’s BSKY & Centre’s Ayushman Bharat Health Scheme

Bhubaneswar: War of words between Odisha’s ruling BJD and opposition BJP heated up on Thursday over the budgetary provision for the Central government’s Ayushman Bharat health scheme.

While BJD leaders slammed the Union budget for ‘inadequate’ fund allocation and said the state’s BSKY is a better scheme, BJP state president Samir Mohanty lashed out at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik accusing him of displaying his ego and making political remarks on Ayushman Bharat scheme in his budget reaction on Wednesday.

Mohanty said the Chief Minister should clarify how much money had been spent on each patient under BSKY instead of making making tall claims.

Addressing a press meet BJD spokespersons Shreemayee Mishra and Gautambuddha Das said Odisha BJP has been harping on how Ayushman Bharat Yojana, formally known as Pradhan Mantri Jan Ayushman Yojana, is a better programme than the state’s Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY).

However, the Union Budget has exposed its “false propaganda” as under the outlay on major schemes in the  Budget 2023-24 under serial no. 7 of core schemes, the centre has only provided only Rs 7200 crore for Ayushman Bharat, they said.

“When we take into consideration India’s 28 states and 8 union territories, per state/UT it comes to around Rs 200 crore per annum for Ayushman Yojana,” the BJD leaders said.

On the other hand, the Odisha government spends about Rs 6000 crores under BSKY which is on average about Rs 200 crore per district per year in the state, they said, adding Rs 200 crore of Ayushman by Centre per year would only cover one district of Odisha.

Stating that the Chief Minister is committed to provide comprehensive healthcare to the people of Odisha as compared to the false propaganda of BJP, they said in Ayushman while a woman can only avail treatment for 5 lakhs, in BSKY she can avail it for Rs 10 lakhs.

Hitting back at the BJD leaders, the BJP state unit chief claimed that large scale corruption and irregularities have been found in BSKY. Corruption unearthed in a Cuttack hospital is only an example which shows the real nature of BSKY, he said.

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