From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Ayushman Sahakar Scheme
Mains level : Impact of coronovirus outbreak
The Agriculture Ministry has rolled out the Ayushman Sahakar Scheme to assist cooperatives in the creation of healthcare infrastructure in the country.
Can you find the peculiarity of this scheme? Yes. It’s the Agriculture and not the Health Ministry.
Ayushman Sahakar Scheme
- The scheme is formulated by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), the apex autonomous development finance institution under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
- The scheme would give a boost to the provision of healthcare services by cooperatives.
- It specifically covers establishment, modernization, expansion, repairs, renovation of hospital and healthcare and education infrastructure.
Why need such a scheme?
- There is a huge need for medical and nursing education in rural areas. But the problem is a lack of infrastructure.
- Co-ops find it difficult to access credit for such projects as banks may not give them loans for non-agricultural purposes.
Financing the scheme
- NCDC would extend term loans to prospective cooperatives to the tune of Rs 10000 Crore in the coming years.
- Any Cooperative Society with a suitable provision in its byelaws to undertake healthcare-related activities would be able to access the NCDC fund.
- NCDC assistance will flow either through the State Governments/ UT Administrations or directly to the eligible cooperatives.
- Apart from working capital and margin money to meet operational requirements, the scheme will also provide interest subvention of 1% to women majority cooperatives.