Presenting the last full Budget of the NDA government, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday announced that the government will launch flagship National Health Protection scheme intended to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families and 50 crore beneficiaries. Under the scheme, 10 crore families will be provided Rs 5 lakh cover per family annually for treatment. The programme is being touted as the world’s largest health protection scheme.
Interestingly, Jaitley had announced the scheme in his 2016 Budget speech and was subsequently reiterated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech that year. The proposal is lying with the Union Cabinet since November 2016.
Besides, the Finance Minister stated that the government was slowly but steadily progressing towards the universal health coverage.
The Budget is being seen as a test for the PM Modi-led government to maintain fiscal discipline without stifling economic growth ahead of general election next year.