Interim Budget 2024: FM Sitharaman Announces Extension of Ayushman Bharat Scheme To ASHA & Anganwadi Workers

Interim Budget 2024: FM Sitharaman Announces Extension of Ayushman Bharat Scheme To ASHA & Anganwadi Workers

"The health cover under the Ayushman Bharat scheme will be extended to all ASHA and Anganwadi workers and helpers," FM Sitharaman announced.

Tejas JoshiUpdated: Thursday, February 01, 2024, 11:57 AM IST
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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Interim Budget 2024 on Thursday, announced that ASHA and Anganwadi workers will now be eligible to avail Ayushman Bharat scheme.

"The health cover under the Ayushman Bharat scheme will be extended to all ASHA and Anganwadi workers and helpers," FM Sitharaman announced.

What is Ayushman Bharat scheme?

Ayushman Bharat, also recognized as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), is a healthcare initiative initiated by the Government of India in September 2018. It stands as the largest government-funded healthcare program globally. This scheme offers coverage of up to Rs. 5 lakhs per family annually for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization to more than 10.74 crore vulnerable eligible families. It encompasses critical diseases and medical conditions including prostate cancer, double valve replacement, coronary artery bypass graft, COVID-19, pulmonary valve replacement, skull base surgery, anterior spine fixation, and laryngopharyngectomy with gastric pull-up.

Strategy for 'Amrit Kaal'

Meanwhile,Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman outlined the 'strategy for Amrit Kaal.' The government adopted economic policies that promoted and maintained growth, facilitated inclusive and sustainable development, improved productivity, created opportunities for all, helped enhance their capabilities, and contributed to generating resources for powering investments and fulfilling aspirations, she said.

Sitharaman mentioned that all types of infrastructure, including digital, social, and physical, are being constructed rapidly. She highlighted the increasing empowerment of women through 30 crore Mudra Yojana loans. Additionally, she pointed out that approximately 70 per cent of houses in rural areas under PM Awas Yojana are given to women as either single or joint owners.

FM Sitharaman also highlighted progress in 'Nari Shakti,' mentioning a 28 per cent rise in female enrollment in higher education over a decade. In STEM courses, girls and women constitute 43 per cent of enrolment, a high global figure. Steps like making triple talaq illegal, reserving 1/3 seats for women in Parliament and state assemblies, and allocating over 70 per cent of houses under PM Awas Yojana to women have enhanced their dignity and increased their participation in the workforce.

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