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Customised letter from PM Modi for Ayushman Bharat scheme beneficiaries in Jharkhand

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Ayushman Bharat

New Delhi | Beneficiaries of the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat insurance programme in Jharkhand, from where Narendra Modi will roll out the flagship scheme on Sunday, have been sent a two-page customised letter from the prime minister outlining the importance and benefits of the project.

The government will send similar letters to 10.74 crore beneficiary families across the country gradually. The letters will have a photograph of Modi, a government official said.

“Around 57 lakh families in Jharkhand are expected to receive letters by Sunday morning,” the official said.

The letter mentions that the beneficiary family can avail the scheme in hospitals in their area and health facilities empanelled under the scheme across the country.

“I hope you will receive complete treatment without the need to worry about the expense and without any hassles,” the letter states.

Through the Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Scheme renamed Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan, the government aims to provide a coverage of Rs five lakh per family annually to more than 10 crore poor households.

The scheme will target poor and deprived rural families and identified the occupational category of urban workers’ families, 8.03 crore in rural and 2.33 crore in urban areas, as per the latest Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data, and will cover around 50 crore people.

The entitlement is being decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the SECC database. The beneficiaries are identified based on the deprivation categories (D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, and D7) identified under the SECC database for rural areas.

For urban areas, the 11 occupational criteria will determine entitlement. In addition, Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna beneficiaries in states where it is active are also included.

There is no cap on family size and age in the scheme, ensuring that nobody is left out.

As many as 31 states and Union territories have signed MoUs with the Centre and will implement the programme over the next two months, after its launch on Sunday.

Remaining states and UTs – Telangana, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala and Punjab – have not signed, so the scheme will not be implemented in those states till they come on board.

National

Government likely to make announcement on RBI soon: Finance Secretary

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RBI

New Delhi | The government is likely to make an announcement regarding Urjit Patel’s successor as Reserve Bank of India’s Governor later in the day, Finance Secretary A N Jha said.

RBI has been rendered headless following Patel’s unexpected resignation, with immediate effect, Monday. Patel, who is the first governor since 1990 to step down before his term ends, in a brief statement, cited “personal reasons” for the decision.

The decision to quit comes four days ahead of a crucial meeting of the board of the central bank that could have discussed issues of simmering differences with the government. It is expected that the board meeting may be deferred as there is no regular governor.

Speaking to reporters, Jha said, some communication from the government on RBI is expected.

Patel’s three-year term was to end in September 2019, and he was eligible for a second term like most of his successors, barring a few like his outspoken predecessor Raghuram Rajan.

A Kenyan national who acquired an Indian citizenship prior to being appointed Deputy Governor of RBI in January 2013, Oxford-trained Patel was initially seen as toeing government line after he backed the November 2016 shock decision to overnight junk 86 per cent of the currency in circulation.

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National

Former Kerala Minister C N Balakrishnan dead

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Kochi | Veteran Congress leader and former Kerala minister C N Balakrishnan died at a private hospital here, party sources said Tuesday.

He was 84. Balakrishnan, a former Cooperation minister, undergoing treatment for pneumonia at a private hospital here and the end came late Monday night, the sources said.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala were among those who condoled his death.

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National

Eminent economist Surjit Bhalla resigns from EAC-PM

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New Delhi | Eminent economist and columnist Surjit Bhalla on Tuesday said that he had resigned as part-time member of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister(EAC-PM) on December 1.

“I resigned as a part-time member of PMEAC on December 1,” Bhalla said on social networking site Twitter.

The EAC- PM is headed by Niti Aayog member Bibek Debroy. Economists Rathin Roy, Ashima Goyal and Shamika Ravi are other part-time members.

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