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Lone announces cashless insurance for BPL families

NC members clash with PDP Minister

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, Jan 18: National Conference and PDP MLAs today had verbal duel followed by heated exchanges after NC MLA and former Speaker Mubarak Gul raised some queries in the Legislative Assembly when Social Welfare Minister Sajjad Ghani Lone had finished his reply on the grants of his Ministry.
As Lone finished his speech, Gul sought a clarification from him.
When the Member was speaking, Ansari also stood up from his seat saying when the concerned Minister gave the reply there is no fun of making speech by the Member. This agitated the Member who in protest threw the papers regarding the grants in the Well of the House in protest.
Taking strong objection of Minister’s remarks the MLA also retorted back on Ansari. Supporting him Ali Mohammed Sagar and G M Saroori also stood up from their seats. Sagar told Minister that Gul has not broken the procedure and what you (Mr Ansari) said is wrong.
There were heated arguments between the Minister and Sagar. The NC MLA while turning towards Minister said that things and rules will not change by your speech. As the Minister also said some thing but nothing was heard in the din.
Protesting against the remarks of the Minister, an agitated Gul threw papers pertaining to grants in the Well. Meantime Saroori also stood up to speak some thing. As both Sagar and Gul were on their toes protesting against the Ansari, Minister of R&B, Abdul Rehman Veeri tried to pacify the agitating opposition members. He said the member has given Cut Motion and he needs clarification. The member is within his right to seek clarification but if he starts giving lecture it will consume more time.
However, Sagar continued his protest. Pointing towards the Minister he said “Veeri don’t violate procedure”. He said the pendency in the State is in lakhs and when will it end.
Later the Minister of Social Welfare, Sajjad Ghani Lone said that his Ministry has a fixed budget with it and the pendency is not from last two years but from a very long time. He assured that 20 to 30 percent of it will be met.
Earlier in his reply Lone said that the coalition Government will introduce a cashless health insurance scheme for BPL families. For this the Department of Social Welfare will facilitate and fund an institutionalized arrangement with a reputed insurance institution, besides ensuring implementation of various welfare programmes already initiated in the State.
He terming it a remarkable step of the Government, said such a step has been taken for the first time since 1947. A person suffering from any chronic ailment has to go nowhere and he can get insurance cover for the treatment up to Rs five lakh. Each BPL family will be issued a smart card that will be acceptable at all reputed private and Government hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country. The transactions will be cashless, he added.
“We are taking adequate measures to ensure that the benefits of welfare schemes reach to right beneficiaries, particularly the disempowered sections of the society”, he said.
The Minister said the efforts are on for inclusion of marginalized sections of society for which various proposals have been formulated and in pursuance to the notification of the Jammu and Kashmir State Trust for Welfare of persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 2016. For this necessary rules have been finalized, he added.
He said by having a State Trust as envisaged in the Act, a sizable section of persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities will be immensely benefitted, through a slew of interventions encompassing health, rehabilitation, education, skill development and preventive care.
Maintaining that the coalition is committed to impart the quality of education to the orphans, Sajjad Lone said the Government is working on a proposal for setting up of proper boarding schools which would serve as better alternative to Bal Ashrams. For this purpose Government is exploring option of funding from Corporate sector.
Informing the House about various schemes launched by the department, the Minister said that Centrally Sponsored Scheme envisaging pre-matric and post-matric scholarship scheme for De-Notified Tribes (DNT) have been launched in the State. The scheme will target hitherto left out tribes like Chopans, Pohlos and Sangtarash, he added.
The Minister said construction of eight new hostels will be taken up during the coming fiscal to provide boarding and lodging facilities to students from weaker sections of the society.
Sajjad Lone said to ensure protection of Constitutional and legal rights of children in the State, Government has rolled out an Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS). He added the process for appointment of about 380 supporting staff created under the scheme has been initiated for implementation of J&K Juvenile, Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act. The Minister informed the House that ICDS Centers would be converted as kindergarten schools in addition to providing supplementary nutrition to the children. He said the Centre has recently sanctioned 3361 new ICDS centers to the State, and these would be established soon after conducting proper survey of the habitations where they are required.
The Minister said financial assistance under various schemes would henceforth be made through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), mode to usher transparency and early disbursement. For this designing of necessary software and payment gateway is under process, he added.
Fulfilling the promise made in last Assembly session, the Minister said the old age pension, widow pension and disability pension under NSAP/ISSS schemes has been enhanced from Rs 200 to Rs 1000 per month.
He said the enhancement would benefit about 5.70 lakh people of the State under different categories. He said for its implementation the Government has to bear an expenditure of Rs 683 crore during 2017-18.
The Minister said the State Rehabilitation Council has provided 400 motorized cycles as assistance to victims of violence, adding that a target of 210 motorized tricycles has been projected for financial year 2017-18.
He further said that the Governing Council of SRC has decided to enhance the marriage assistance from Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000 for the daughters and young widows of victims of violence.
Highlighting the steps initiated to further streamlining the functioning of Tribal Affairs Department, the Minister said that funding of the Department has been enhanced manifold.
He said the Central funding has been enhanced from Rs 45 crore to Rs 98.01 crore while as State funding has been increased from Rs 50 lakh to 23 crores.
“Tribal Affairs has been given independent identity and now it is a full-fledged department with functional presence at the district level for which 56 posts have been created”, he added.
Elaborating on achievements of Department, the Minister said that intake capacity of hostels has been enhanced from 2125 to 4000 by adding 14 new hostels and upgradation of existing ones. He said 7 hostels shall be made functional during the next year, besides 4 PG hostels with intake capacity of 250 (two each in Jammu and Srinagar) shall be taken up for construction during the next year.
Lone said the diet charges have been enhanced from Rs 50 to Rs 100 per day per inmate, while as the uniform charges have been enhanced from Rs 1500 to Rs 2250 per inmate per year respectively. He said an amount of Rs 24 crore has been released by the Government of India for completion of 02 Eklavaya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) at Anantnag and Kulgam with intake capacity of 450 students each.
He further said that two new EMRSs shall be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 16 crore each at Rajouri and Kargil. Rs 30 crores have been earmarked for the focused area of education by constructing new classrooms and delivery of high quality services to the students of tribal community. Similarly, an amount of Rs. 20 crore has been earmarked for health sector in tribal areas for up-gradation of NTPCs/PHCs/ADCs and purchase of equipment.
He said that the Cluster Model approach for development of the tribal villages with the geographical spread of 5-10 kms with total funding of Rs 10 crores has been taken up in 10 clusters and the work is likely to be completed within two years. He said that 15 new clusters will be taken up during the next financial year.

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