Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Myths Vs. Facts


West Bengal has not adhered to provisions of MOU signed with Union Government for implementation of NHM, and other Guidelines issued by Dept. of Expenditure

As per DoE directions, fund flow to States is conditional to the fulfilment of mandatory conditions

No compliance of AB-HWC Branding Guidelines despite several meetings and reminders

Posted On: 03 DEC 2023 12:24PM by PIB Delhi

A section of the media has reported on the Centre withholding release of funds under National Health Mission (NHM) for West Bengal and Chief Minister,West Bengal writing to Prime Minister seeking his intervention.

Branding Guidelines for Ayushman Bharat –Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) have been issued vide letter no. D.O.No.Z-15015/11/2017-NHM-I dated 30th May 2018. However, in the State of West Bengal the colours of the building of HWCs and language of the title used in the State are blue and white. The title of AB-HWC is written in regional language as “Susasthya Kendra” along with “Health & Wellness Centre” in English.

As per the provisions of MoU signed between Government of India and West Bengal for implementation of National Health Mission, the State shall ensure that the implementation of the programme/activities envisaged under the Mission is as per the Framework of Implementation of NHM and other guidelines provided by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare from time to time [Clause 10.3]. Also, the State Government shall adhere to all the existing manuals, guidelines, instructions and circulars issued in connection with implementation of the NHM, which are not contrary to the provisions of this MOU [Clause 10.10]. Additionally, as per the guidelines of Department of Expenditure (DoE), the States need to adhere to the guidelines on the scheme for special assistance to the States for Capital Investment 2023-24 in which one of the mandatory conditions stipulated in Para(4) of the scheme guidelines is as below:

‘Full compliance with the official name of all Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSSs) [correct translation to local language is permissible] and any guidelines / instructions issued by the Government of India regarding branding of CSSs, in all Schemes of all Ministries’

Numerous meetings have been held on the issue of compliance of branding guidelines with all the States/UTs including under the chairmanship of Secretary Health on March 31 3023 and May 11 2023. Meetings have also been held by Joint Secretary (Policy) on January 12, 2023, February 8, 2023, March 3, 2023 and April 24, 2023. A DO letter of AS&MD (NHM) was sent to all the States/UTs to ensure branding in all HWCs by 28th  February 2023. Another  DO letter of Secretary (HFW) was sent to all the States/UTs to comply branding in all HWCs by31st March 2023.

Several communications have also been sent to West Bengal on this issue. DO dated 11th April, 2023 from Join Secretary, MoHFW sent to the State of West Bengal mentioning that the State has executed an MoU with the Govt. of India as per NHM framework which mandates compliance of guidelines issued under NHM. As per the observations during the visit for assessment of AB-HWCs operationalisation, the State had not complied with the branding requirements in the case of SC-HWCs and PHC-HWCs in rural and urban areas. Further, letter dated 3rd November, 2023 was also sent to the State reiterating that the State had not complied with the branding guidelines as per GoI norms and it was mentioned that as per the directions of DoE, the further fund flow to the State under NHM will be conditional to the fulfilment of conditions. Additionally, Department of Expenditure vide its letter dated 19.09.23 had also communicated to the State regarding non-compliance of branding in Centrally Sponsored Schemes including AB-HWCs. The  issue of non-compliance of branding guidelines was reiterated in the National Programme Coordination Committee (NPCC) meeting held for consideration of the state of West Bengal’s Programme Implementation Plan (PIP) under NHM held recently on 8th November 2023.

State has also not participated in other Government of India consultations and programmes. Central Council of Health and Family Welfare (CCHFW) is an apex advisory body set up under Article 263 of the Constitution to provide support and advice the Government on policy formulation and to consider and recommend broad lines of policy in regard to matters concerning health. Ministers of Health and Medical Education of all states are members of this body. West Bengal was the only state that did not send any representative to the 14th Meeting of Central Council of Health and Family Welfare held in Gujarat in May 2022. In the 15th meeting of the CCHFW held in July 2023 in Uttarakhand also, there was no senior level participation. The State has also not participated in the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra which is a Government of India Programme; it has partly participated in few activities of the Ayushman Bhav campaign of Government of India which was launched by the Hon’ble President of India and it has not held health camps as envisioned under the campaign.

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MV

HFW/WB HWC Branding/4thDec2023/1



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