Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today informed the Assembly, during question hour, that all left out BPL families in the state would be covered under the National Health Insurance Scheme shortly.
Replying to a question of Mukesh Agnihotri, Kaul Singh Thakur and Kuldeep Pathania (Congress) Dhumal said that till then the eligble families could avail free medical facilities in government institutions, as they had not been withdrawn. New smart cards would be issued to the left out families after the survey to identify BPL families was completed, he said. He added that facilities available to BPL families prior to the launch of the scheme had not been withdrawn.
The Congress members pointed out that in several panchayats, smart cards of BPL families had not been made and said that such families should be covered. Replying to a question, Health minister Rajiv Bindal said there was a proposal to cover NREGA labourers under the health insurance scheme and a final decision by the centre in this regard was awaited. Bindal said there were 2.98 lakh identified BPL families and only 2.35 lakh (81 per cent) out of these had been issued cards.
In reply to another query by Gangu Ram Musafir, about illegal mining in the border areas of Paonta Sahib in Sirmaur and Nurpur area bordering Punjab, Industries minister Kishan Kapoor said these areas were vulnerable to illegal mining because of absence of clear demarcated boundaries and porous nature of the border.
He refuted the allegation of Opposition members that influential people were being allowed to go scot-free and asserted that the department was very vigilant and nobody is involved in illegal mining, howsoever influential he might be.