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CAG raises concern over selection of Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries

New Delhi: It seems the government may face the ire of Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) of India over the implementation of country's flagship public health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) as the national auditor has red-flagged several issues related with the rolling out of the health cover scheme.

As per sources, in its initial auditing, the CAG has expressed grave concerns over the Union Health Ministry's financial management in providing Rs 5 lakh insurance cover to people with low income in the country.

The CAG in its communication with the Union Health Ministry and concerned stakeholders has raised its serious concerns over the selection criteria for the beneficiaries as the most of the beneficiaries have been selected on the basis of socio-economic census data that has left several 'needy' beneficiaries from getting the benefits of the health cover.

"The issues that have irked CAG include conditions like people owing refrigerators, landline phones, etc are not entitled to the national health cover," the sources said.

As per the sources, the CAG has also drawn the attention of concerned stakeholders about the fake bills, overcharging, quality of healthcare services provided to the beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat scheme.

Notably, the CAG has already started the auditing of Ayushman Bharat scheme. The health insurance cover has so far insured more than 10 crore poor households in the country. The auditing of PM-JAY is proposed for 2020-2021 and it is being done in two parts such as reviewing data of the scheme, assessing its implementation and outcomes.

Apart from Ayushman Bharat, the CAG is also auditing PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana as well as MSP, e-NAM as part of the assessment of schemes for farmers' benefits.

Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 23, 2018. After its launch, the scheme has changed the lives of thousands of beneficiaries. The scheme was launched to achieve the vision of universal health coverage (UHC) and it has been designed to meet sustainable development

goals (SDGs).

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