In 1st PMJAY purge, names of BJP MP, UP minister pruned from list

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Names of four politicians including one BJP MP and one Uttar Pradesh minister have been removed from the PMJAY beneficiary list

Exposing loopholes in the beneficiary list of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), the National Health Agency last week removed the names of one Uttar Pradesh minister, a BJP MP, and ex Rajya Sabha MP and one UP MLC from the list.

The names of Uttar Pradesh industries minister Satish Mahana, Unnao MP Sakshi Maharaj, former Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agrawal (then of the Samajwadi Party but since joined BJP) and UP MLC Jaipal Singh Vyast have been removed. This is the first cleaning up of the beneficiary list since its launch and the high profile names would cause some discomfort in government circles about the data that has been used to decide PMJAY eligibility. The data from the socio-economic caste census dates back to 2011.

PMJAY, touted as the biggest government health insurance scheme in the world, promises to give an annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh to 10.74 crore families. So far about 1 crore families have been enrolled

SECC list automatically includes names of families that have no shelter, are destitute/living on alms, are manual scavengers or primitive tribal groups or are legally released bonded labourers. Any family that fulfils one of seven defined deprivation criteria – households with one or less room, kuccha walls and kuccha roof, with no adult member in household between age 18 and 59, a female headed household with no adult male member between 16 and 59, households with differently able member with no other able bodied adult member, SC/ST households, households with no literate adult above age 25 years and landless households deriving a major part of their income from manual labour – is included in the list. The automatic exclusion criteria include owning a refrigerator, any family where at least one member earns more than Rs 10000 per month or pays income or professional tax. Any household that owns a four wheeler or a landline phone is automatically excluded.

PMJAY, touted as the biggest government health insurance scheme in the world, promises to give an annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh to 10.74 crore families. So far about 1 crore families have been enrolled. Government officials concede in off record conversations that there are discrepancies in the SECC data but to try rectifying them at this stage could lead to chaos not just in the implementation of the scheme but could also have political repercussions with the Lok Sabha elections just a few months away.

The Uttar Pradesh State Health Agency launched an inquiry after it receives reports about the names of the politicians in the list. Mahana, sources say, flagged the matter himself.

 

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