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Universal health insurance scheme announced for J&K residents

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LG launches grievance redress and monitoring portal

Srinagar: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Friday announced a universal health insurance scheme, on the lines of the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat, to cover the entire population of the Union territory at an annual expenditure of Rs 123 crore.

Lt Governor announced the scheme during his maiden press conference held in Srinagar today.

Talking to reporters, the Lt Governor said that his administration would welcome inputs from the media regarding different schemes.

“Jammu and Kashmir has been in the news for wrong reasons. I think we should move ahead of that. In this direction, inputs from media would help us to correct any wrongs,” he told reporters.

He told media persons that his administration would welcome any constructive criticism and would try to correct the wrongs, if any.

When asked that how e-governance would function in absence of high speed internet services, the Lt Governor said that the issue is under consideration of the administration.

Speaking about the scheme, Lt Governor said that it will provide health insurance cover free of cost to all residents and shall include the serving and retired employees and their families as well, he said.

“Today, we have approved an important public health benefit proposal which is probably the first of its kind in the entire country. The Jammu and Kashmir Health Scheme will provide universal health coverage to nearly 70 lakh residents of the Union territory who are not covered under the Ayushman Bharat scheme,” Sinha told reporters here.

The LG invited suggestions from the public for naming the J&K Health Scheme. “We would like the name to be suggested by the people. A committee will be formed which will select the best name,” he added.

Giving details, Administrative Secretary in the Health department Atal Dulloo said the J&K Health Scheme will have the same benefits as Ayushman Bharat, and beneficiaries can avail cashless treatment at all hospitals empanelled under the central scheme across the country.

Dulloo said the annual financial implication of the insurance scheme would be to the tune of Rs 123 crore.

“The registration for the scheme will start within a week’s time, but the scheme will be implemented only after a formal launch,” he said.

The Lt Governor also launched the Jammu & Kashmir Integrated Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (JK-IGRAMS).

“I believe that one of the most important things is to listen to the people and resolve their daily problems. We have launched JKIGRAMS (Jammu and Kashmir Integrated Grievance Redress and Monitoring Mechanism) — a revamped and decentralised grievance redressal system,” he said.

The LG said while people can file and track their grievances in this system, the portal is linked with the CPGRAMS, in which grievances pertaining to the Union government can be forwarded to the Centre.

“In the revamped system, the deputy commissioners of respective districts will be the primary level of receiving, disposing and monitoring grievances. This will be a major step towards reform and decentralisation,” he added.

He said the existing portal has now been integrated downwards to the district level by mapping another nearly 1500 public offices in 20 districts of the Union Territory.

From existing 250 to proposed 1500 offices, which is the widest possible coverage that has been conceived and enabled in the online management of public grievances in J&K making it the first online grievance management system/portal in the country that is linked with Central government (at the top) and districts and even further downwards to the Tehsils and Blocks (at the bottom).Besides, the administrative secretaries of various departments figuring in the middle of the flow-chain are also linked to the mechanism, an official press release issued in this regard informed.

The new system, it said would be available 24×7 with applicant OTP authentication, acknowledgement to applicant at each stage, feedback by complainant and on top of that grievance submission through call center by making a phone call between 9.30 AM -5.30 PM on all days except Sunday.

Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor said that government is committed to undertake all radical reforms to put in place people-centric good governance structure that has an institutionalized grievance redressal mechanism, which he observed as the most important component of a well-governed responsive administration and an indicator of efficiency and effectiveness of administrative processes.

Terming it as a step towards gaining the peoples’ trust, the Lt Governor remarked that an effective grievance redressal mechanism is the lifeblood of any good governance system and is the top priority for the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.

A common citizen wants a sympathetic, courteous, responsive, and helpful administrative setup, he maintained.

The LG said monitoring dashboards will be with him and the Chief Secretary as well. “We may call some people to check the veracity of the official reports about disposal of grievances,” he added.

Sinha also announced that all deputy commissioners and superintendents of police would be available in their offices from 10.30 am to 11.30 am every day, except for Wednesdays and Sundays, to hear public grievances.

“Similarly, divisional commissioners and IGs have also fixed timings twice a week exclusively for public hearings,” he added.

While briefing the Lt Governor, Secretary, Public Grievances, Simrandeep Singh underscored that the new system will involve setting up of dedicated grievance handling teams in each of the 20 districts of J&K to handle seamless flow of grievances up and down the chain.

Further, district Call Centers, to be operated by CSC-SPV centrally from two divisional headquarters of Jammu/Kashmir, will also be set up in order to provide an additional medium for citizens to register their grievance on the portal. He said the prime focus would be on quality of the reply.

The new system is being launched on pilot basis initially for three districts of Jammu, Srinagar, and Reasi and will gradually be rolled out in the remaining districts by or before 2nd October, 2020. It will replace the current portal which was launched by the government in 2018.

Advisors to the Lt Governor — Farooq Khan, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar and Baseer Ahmad Khan – Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to Lt Governor; Simrandeep Singh, Secretary, Public Grievances and other senior officers were present on the occasion.

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