Goa’s universal health insurance scheme delayed by 15 days: CM

Goa’s universal health insurance scheme delayed by 15 days: CM

Panaji, Aug 15 (IANS) Goa has deferred the launch of its universal health insurance scheme by 15 days due to delay in distribution of health cards, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said on Monday.

Speaking at the Independence Day function here, Parsekar said only 40,000 of the 1.38 lakh families registered for the scheme have so far received the health cards, which is why implementation has been delayed by 15 days.

The Deen Dayal Swasthya Seva Yojana promises every Goan the health insurance of up to Rs 2 lakh per year for over 400 medical procedures.

One of the major schemes proposed by the state government, it was due to be launched on Monday to coincide with the Independence Day celebrations.

The scheme was delayed because a thorough follow-up could not be conducted on account of a protracted monsoon session of the state assembly, which concluded last week, Parsekar said.

“We were busy with assembly (proceedings) and could not have a desired follow-up. What I have found is that the insurance company is in a position to create 5,000 cards daily so at least those families who have been enrolled should get the cards.”

“Of course, over the next few days additional families will also be enrolled. Therefore, instead of starting from 40,000, if we start with one lakh families that will be a good number,” Parsekar said.

Reprimanded hotelier MLA for hiking room rates: Goa CM

Panaji, Aug 15 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Monday said that he reprimanded a lawmaker who is also a hotelier, for hiking room rentals during the extended Independence Day weekend.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Independence Day celebrations in Panaji, Parsekar said the state was transforming from a winter holiday destination to one which tourists visit all year round.

“Goa and tourism are inseparable. I saw so many tourists in Panaji yesterday (Sunday). All businesses were flourishing. I have a legislator colleague who is also a hotelier. He told me that the long (Independence Day) weekend was good for business and that he has sold his room, which originally costs Rs 2,000, for Rs 15,000. I said you did not do the right thing,” Parsekar told media persons.

“Tourists now come to Goa all year round. It is a healthy sign that the tourism season is not limited to October to January, but extends during the summer and rains too,” Parsekar said.

Goa is one of the top beach and nightlife tourism destinations in the country and attracts four million tourists annually, half a million of which are foreigners.

Goa hosting BRICS for its reputation in hospitality: CM

Panaji, Aug 15 (IANS) The coastal state of Goa has been given the opportunity to host the BRICS summit in October this year ahead of other states because of its high hospitality standards, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said on Monday.

Parsekar said, “The Prime Minister gave Goa an opportunity to host the BRICS summit over all other Indian states because of Goa’s fame. He chose Goa because when BRICS heads arrive in Goa they should get good hospitality and a good impression about India.”

The BRICS summit will be held in Goa in mid-October. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was in Goa last week to review preparations for the meet, which is expected to be attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Parsekar also said that Goa should capitalise on the state’s tourism potential.

“Goans need to be aware of the state’s tourism potential. All of us should take advantage of this,” Parsekar said.

Goa, famous for its beaches and nightlife, attracts four million tourists annually, half of them are foreigners.

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