Ayushman Sahakar Scheme
Ayushman Sahakar Scheme
Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare has launched AYUSHMAN SAHAKAR.
- Objective: To assist cooperatives to play an important role in the creation of healthcare infrastructure in the country.
- The scheme is formulated by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).
- The scheme covers establishment, modernization, expansion, repairs, renovation of hospital and healthcare and education infrastructure.
Features of the scheme:
- NCDC would extend term loans to prospective cooperatives to the tune of Rs.10,000 crore in the coming years.
- Any Cooperative Society with a suitable provision in its bylaws 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.
- The scheme also provides working capital and margin money to meet operational requirements.
- The scheme also provides interest subvention of 1% to women majority cooperatives.
- The scheme mainly focuses on the National Health Policy, 2017, covering the health systems in all their dimensions- investments in health, organization of healthcare services, access to technologies, development of human resources etc.
- It is in line with the National Digital Health Mission and would bring transformation in rural areas.
- It has comprehensive approach-hospitals, healthcare, medical education, nursing education, paramedical education, health insurance, and holistic health systems such as AYUSH.
- There are about 52 hospitals across the country run by cooperatives. They have a cumulative bed strength of more than 5,000. The scheme would give a boost to the provision of healthcare services by cooperatives.
- Cooperatives have a strong presence in rural areas, thus, cooperatives utilizing the scheme would revolutionize the way healthcare delivery takes place in rural areas.
National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC):
- It was set up in 1963 under an Act of Parliament for the promotion and development of cooperatives.
- It functions under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
- Sahakar Cooptube NCDC Channel (Youth-focused), Sahakar Mitra (Internship Programme) are the other initiatives of NCDC.
- International Labour Organisation (ILO) defines cooperative as an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.
- Provisions of Indian Constitution:
- 97th Amendment of Indian constitution added Part IXB right after Part IXA (Municipals) regarding the cooperatives working in India.
- The word “cooperatives” was added after “unions and associations” in Article 19(1)(c) under Part III of the Constitution.