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India needs health regulator to make Modicare work efficiently: NITI Aayog

Sanjeeb Mukherjee/New Delhi 15 Feb 18 | 01:42 AM

NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar (pictured) said on Wednesday a health regulator was needed to be set up to sort out difference between states and private health insurers that might emerge during the roll-out of the ambitious National Health Protection Scheme.

Announced in the Budget for 2018-19, the scheme — often called Modicare — aims to provide health insurance to 500,000 vulnerable citizens. NITI Aayog and state health secretaries will be meeting on Thursday to discuss the scheme.

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“A regulatory body would ensure an effective delivery mechanism with efficient outcomes," Kumar said at a post-Budget session, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Institute of Economic Growth. He also said India faced under-employment and an unsatisfactory jobs scenario, more than unemployment. The Aayog was planning to set up a big data analytics centre to study payroll data for employment trends, he added. 

Kumar was confident the government would meet the disinvestment target of Rs 80,000 crore, set in the 2018-19 Budget, as telecom spectrum sales would fetch funds. He also said the Aayog was in talks with several global organisation to fund 125,000 wellness centres the Budget had proposed. Some experts had criticised the budgetary allocation of Rs 12 billion for the project as being too small.

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