Pre-budget consultations: social sector experts meet with FM; look for a job, increase health spending

Representatives from various social sectors and unions urged the government on Saturday to further boost healthcare spending amid the unprecedented Covid crisis, introduce an urban employment program and increase spending on the guarantee program rural employment.

As part of the pre-budget consultation meeting, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday met with experts from sectors such as health, education, rural development, water and sanitation. It is learned that some of the stakeholders have suggested that the government continue to focus on creating health infrastructure and take measures to ensure that the country is sufficiently prepared to deal with any Covid-type health emergency in the world. ‘to come up.

In the previous budget, the government increased spending for the Department of Health and Family Welfare by almost 10% from a year ago, to Rs 78,866 crore. Likewise, the allocation for health research and the Ayush ministry has been increased by 34 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Spending on nutrition, clean water and sanitation was increased by 350% and 253%, respectively, to Rs 2,700 crore and Rs 60,030 crore.

The health budget also included a special Covid-related provision involving an allocation of Rs 35,000 crore to cover vaccination costs.

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) submitted to the Ministry of Finance the introduction of an urban employment guarantee program with an adequate allocation of funds, given that a large number of migrant workers are working in various cities of India. He also wants the Center to significantly increase the allocation of the MGNREGA program to “prevent the spread of poverty” during the pandemic. He also suggested that aid under this rural employment scheme be extended by 200 days per family per year, compared to 100 days currently.

The urban unemployment rate hit an 11-week high, at 8.75%, in the week ended Nov. 28, according to data compiled by the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy. The rate in cities was 8.14% the week before and 9.2% for the week ending September 12, the highest level in recent times. EF

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