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Naveen launches health insurance scheme for farmers



OST Bureau

Angul, Nov 12:

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today rolled out Biju Krushak Kalyan Yojna (BKKY), a scheme aiming to provide health insurance to 60 lakh farmers in the state at Khamar in Angul district.

Five members of each beneficiary household can avail up to Rs one lakh each as health insurance under the scheme. The scheme to be implemented in 30 districts split into three zones – South, Central and North, will be implemented in two phases.

Claiming it to be a revolutionary step for welfare of farmers, the chief minister said the scheme would benefit about three crore people. Addressing gathering on the occasion, he said health services will be provided in all government hospitals and 80 private hospitals once the scheme is implemented.

Agriculture Minister Devi Prasad Mishra said a sum of Rs 100 crore has been allocated in this year’s budget for the purpose.

All cultivators will be covered under the insurance scheme irrespective of their status as below poverty line (BPL) or above poverty line (APL), he added.

Farmers of the area, however, remained sceptical about the scheme in view of the fiasco during the ceremony to honour cattle organised by the administration at the same place yesterday.

Hundreds of cattle brought by farmers to participate in the programme went without food and water for hours together as Agriculture minister Debi Mishra and his entourage reached several hours behind schedule. The administration’s failure to make arrangements to feed the cattle despite prior promise left the farmers a dejected lot.