Bihar govt to pay for treatment of congenital heart defect in newborns

The Bihar government will now bear the expense of treating infants suffering from congenital heart defect or a hole in heart, clinically known as atrial septal defect (ASD).

This was one of the nine policy decisions to be approved by the state cabinet, in a meeting chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday.

A senior officer of the information and public relations department said the state government has decided to bear the cost of treatment of ASD as part of Nischaya (resolve) part-2 of the Aatmanirbhar Bihar programme.

Around two-three newborns per 1000 suffer from the ASD in the state, where private hospitals charge around Rs 1-1.50 lakh for its treatment.

In another important decision, the cabinet cleared the transport department’s proposal to waive road tax for almost three months (from July 6 to September 2) as part of Covid-19 relief measures for commercial passenger vehicles registered in Bihar. Besides, it also decided to waive off the fine for defaulting on the payment of road tax between March 21, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

Also Read: After horror tales, Bihar child care homes focus on making girls self-reliant

The state cabinet also modified the procedure to appoint the chairman of the special purpose vehicle (SPV) companies, set up to develop Patna, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur and Bihar Sharif as smart cities using Central government funds under the smart city mission. Doing away with the tradition of nominating the divisional commissioner as ex-officio chairman of the SPVs, now the secretary of urban development department will function as the head of the companies.

Home guard jawans, who are on a regular salary, will also be given the benefits of grade pay structure just like their Bihar police counterparts. Officials said that home guard jawans’ salaries will increase substantially since the grade pay system will be enforced with retrospective effect from January 2006. However, financial benefits would be doled out to home guard jawans with effect from January 21, 2010.

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