New Delhi: Money is being siphoned off in the name of dead people through the centrally sponsored 'Ayushman Bharat — Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana' (PMJAY), and Kerala tops the list, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has found.
Of the 3,466 'dead claimants' in whose names the money was allegedly siphoned off in the country, 966 were from Kerala. In the report tabled in Parliament, the CAG said hospitals in the state received Rs 2.60 crore on this score.
The report highlights serious lapses in the implementation of the Central Government's flagship scheme in the health sector. The CAG had brought the issue to the attention of the National Health Authority (NHA) after an audit in July 2020. Confirming the lapse, the NHA announced in April 2022, nearly two years later, that it had taken steps to deactivate the PMJAY account of the deceased patients.
However, even after that, money was siphoned off in the name of the dead. Madhya Pradesh (403), Chhattisgarh (365), Haryana (354), and Jharkhand (250) have reported the most cases after Kerala.
The CAG has rejected the technical reasons cited by the NHA for the lapse. It was observed that there were lapses at the official level, too. The CAG has recommended a detailed investigation by the national and state health authorities into the irregularities that occurred in each case.
Phone number of 9.85 lakh people is 3!
'Ayushman Bharat—Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana' (PMJAY) is a health insurance scheme of the Central Government for low-income groups. A family will get medical coverage of Rs 5 lakh per year. More than 10 crore people in the country are part of the scheme. The insurance cover will be available for treatment in government hospitals and in private hospitals that have joined the scheme.
There are errors from the registration process onward. The mobile number given by 9.85 lakh people is '3'! The mobile numbers of another 7.49 lakh people are 9999999999. The CAG also found that there were 1.39 lakh people registered with the number 8888888888.