Money allotted for scheme to help urban poor nearly over, PMC looks at other options

In the last financial year, the PMC had made a budgetary provision of Rs 20 crore for the scheme, but the amount was not enough for the entire year.

Once again, the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) budgetary provision of Rs 42 crore for a financial assistance scheme for the medical treatment of the urban poor has been nearly exhausted in the first six months of the financial year, forcing the civic body to allot additional Rs 5 crore for the scheme.

Started by the civic body in 2009, the scheme aims to help those residing in city slums and have an annual income of less than Rs 1 lakh. The beneficiaries have to register themselves every year by paying a fee of Rs 200, and the scheme pays for 50 per cent of their hospital expenditure, up to Rs one lakh, for treatment of kidney, heart and cancer diseases after primary treatment at civic hospitals. The financial assistance was increased to Rs 2 lakh in 2018 considering the rise in treatment costs.

This year, the PMC made a budgetary provision of Rs 42 crore under the scheme and 4,142 local residents registered their families for the same. “A total of 4,922 beneficiaries have availed the benefits of the scheme this year till September 8 with total expenditure amount of Rs 39.84 crore. There is only Rs 2.15 crore of the allocated funds left,” said PMC Standing Committee Chairperson Hemant Rasane.

He said additional funds were needed to meet the expenditure till the end of this financial year, and suggested diverting Rs 5 crore from the Rs 24-crore budgetary allocation for the construction of the proposed Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee medical college. The PMC is in process of getting the necessary administrative approvals in place for the medical college and the amount allocated for it this year was not likely to be used completely, said Rasane.

In the last financial year, the PMC had made a budgetary provision of Rs 20 crore for the scheme, but the amount was not enough for the entire year.

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