Posted on : August 12, 2018

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has renewed his focus on social sector, especially healthcare and food security, and has also set up tribal councils. The state is slated for elections next year.

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief has asked state’s bureaucrats to reach out to each of the seven million families who will receive health cover under the renamed Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) with a personalised letter, a government official familiar with the matter said.

The revamped scheme, named after the CM’s late father Biju Patnaik, extends an annual health cover of  between Rs 5 to 7 lakh (up from a maximum Rs 3 lakh) to over seven million families already benefitting under Centre-sponsored Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana and state’s Biju Krushak Kalyan Yojana. The scheme is slated to be officially launched on August 15.

“Healthcare is becoming costly day by day and a large chunk of the BJD’s vote-bank of women and tribals are poor who suffer more due to lack of financial muscle to access good healthcare. It makes perfect sense for the CM to spend more on healthcare,” said Satya Prakash Das, political science professor at Sambalpur University.

The party is also reaching out to its tribal vote bank by forming Special Development Councils in nine tribal-dominated districts. These councils would involve representation from each of the 62 tribal groups, including 13 vulnerable tribes, and aim to preserve tribal’s culture.(Story courtesy : Hindustan Times)