Narendra Modi launches Rs 64,180 crore PMASBY
By VIRENDRA SINGH RAWAT
LUCKNOW, Oct 25 (The CONNECT) - Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday harped on investment in the healthcare sector even as he unveiled India’s biggest health infra scheme ‘Pradhan Mantri Aatmnirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana’ (PMASBY) worth Rs 64,180 crore.
Addressing a public meeting in his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi, Modi observed that investment towards a healthy living was the best form of investment. He started his speech in the local Bhojpuri dialect, much to the delight of the people.
He said a hospital creates its own local economy by creating new job opportunities for doctors, travel, transport, sanitation staff etc. “A hospital is a symbol of economic self-reliance…we are making a holistic effort to facilitate cheaper and accessible healthcare facilities to the people.”
“Sadly, not much attention was paid to this sector after Independence, and the domestic health infrastructure remained in utter neglect,” Modi lamented.
He noted PMASBY would equip India to counter future pandemics and fortify the health infra to cater the different sections of society, especially the poor.
Before arriving in Varanasi, Modi had in the morning virtually inaugurated nine medical colleges and 30 other projects worth Rs 5,000 crore from Siddharth Nagar district.
PMASBY is a set of reforms for long-term infrastructure strengthening of the public health system. The scheme with an outlay of Rs. 64,180-crore over five years was announced in the Union Budget 2021-22.
The PM said more medical college seats would ensure the availability of more doctors to serve the remote areas. He also lamented that Varanasi and the entire Purvanchal (Eastern Uttar Pradesh) region had long been neglected by the previous governments.
“There could have been no better place than Kashi (Varanasi) to launch the mega scheme (PMSSBY). The quantum of work done in Varanasi in the last seven years is more than what was achieved in decades together,” he said.
Meanwhile, Modi urged people to buy traditional and indigenous products for Diwali under the flagship ‘Vocal for Local’ theme to support local artisans and industries, such as terracotta ‘diyas’ (earthen lamps).