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Budget 2021: Health and Wellbeing

Budget 2021: Health and Wellbeing
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Fahid Fayaz Darangay

As per Article 112 of the constitution, a union budget is basically the statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the government. It is also known as the annual financial statement of the government.
The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance is the nodal body responsible for preparing the Budget. Budget 2021-22 is the first budget of the new decade 2021-30 and is also the first ever digital union budget. This budget which comes in the backdrop of unprecedented COVID-19 crisis reflects the firm commitment of the Government to boost economic growth by investing in infrastructure development.
Budget proposals for 2021-2022 rest on 6 pillars:
1. Health and Wellbeing
2. Physical & Financial Capital, and Infrastructure
3. Inclusive Development for Aspirational India
4. Reinvigorating Human Capital
5. Innovation and R&D
6. Minimum Government and Maximum Governance۔

Health and Wellbeing:
1. Health Systems: PM AatmaNirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana, a new centrally sponsored scheme will be launched.
It will develop capacities of primary, secondary, and tertiary care Health Systems, strengthen existing national institutions, and create new institutions, to cater to detection and cure of new and emerging diseases.
It will be implemented over 6 years and will be in addition to the National Health Mission.
Main interventions under scheme includes:
 Support for Health and Wellness Centers.
 Setting up integrated public health labs in all districts
 Strengthening of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
 Expansion of the Integrated Health Information Portal to all States/UTs to connect all public health labs;
 Setting up of a National Institution for One Health, a
 Regional Research Platform for WHO South East Asia
 Region, etc.
2. Nutrition:
Government will merge the Supplementary Nutrition Programme and the Poshan Abhiyan and launch the Mission Poshan 2.0 to strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach, and outcome.
3. Universal Coverage of Water Supply and Swachch Bharat Mission: Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban), will be launched for universal water supply in all 4,378 Urban Local Bodies with 2.86 crores household tap connections, as well as liquid waste management in 500 AMRUT cities. It will be implemented over 5 years.
Urban Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 will be implemented for over 5 years and main interventions would be:
 Complete faecal sludge management and waste water treatment
 Source segregation of garbage
 Reduction in single-use plastic
 Reduction in air pollution by effectively managing waste from construction-and-demolition activities
 Bio-remediation of all legacy dump sites
3. Vaccines: Provision of Rs 35,000 crore made for Covid-19 vaccine in budget estimate (BE) 2021-22.
Pneumococcal Vaccine will be rolled out across the country aimed at averting 50,000 child deaths annually.
 It is a Made in India product, presently limited to only 5 states.
 This vaccine helps prevent pneumococcal disease, which is any type of illness caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria.
4. Clean Air & Scrapping Policy:
 Rs. 2,217 crore to tackle air pollution, for 42 urban centers with a million-plus population
 Voluntary vehicle scrapping policy to phase out old and unfit vehicles was announced.
 Fitness tests have been proposed in automated fitness centres after 20 years in case of personal vehicles, and after 15 years in case of commercial vehicles.
(The author is currently pursuing Masters in Financial Economics from Madras School of Economics, Chennai)



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