Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has identified health, human capital, innovation and R&D and physical infrastructure as the main pillars for the Union budget for 2021-22.
She has announced a total spend of around Rs 2 lakh crore on healthcare. A new centrally funded scheme, PM Swasthya Yojana, with an outlay of Rs 64,180 crore will be launched in addition to the existing schemes to develop primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare, said the minister.
The FY22 outlay (budget estimate) for health and well-being is up 138%, at Rs 2,23,846 crore. Of this, Sitharaman announced that Rs 35,000 crore will be spent on the Covid-19 vaccine. She said that she is committed to spending more if needed.
The government will spent Rs 95,000 crore on roads in West Bengal, she said. The announcement for Bengal got the loudest thumping of desks, as the state goes to polls in a few months.
“The government also aims to complete 11,000 km of national highway infrastructure this year,” she said. The highway works proposed are
1) 3,500 km corridor in Tamil Nadu
2) 1,100 km in Kerala at an investment of Rs 65,000 cr
3) 675 km in West Bengal at a cost of Rs 95,000 cr
4) 1,300 km in Assam in the next 3 years
“For 2022, I propose a sharp increase in capital expenditure at 5.54 lakh crore, from Rs 4.39 lakh crore in 2021. More economic corridors being planned to boost road infrastructure,” she added.
She also announced a professionally managed Development Financial Institution with Rs 27,000 crore capital. A bill will soon be tabled on DFI essentially to fill the gap in long-term finance for infrastructure sectors, she said
The finance minister said that 217 projects worth over Rs 1 lakh crore have been completed under National Infrastructure Pipeline.
The government has also introduced a scrapping policy to remove unfit vehicles on a voluntary basis. All private vehicles beyond 20 years and commercial vehicles older than 15 years old will have to undergo fitness test, she said.
The government will also launch Mission Poshan 2.0 and Jal Jeevan Mission Urban. “The Urban Swachh Bharat scheme will be implemented with an outlay of over Rs 1.4 lakh crore,” she said.
“The government intends to focus on reduction of single use plastic, air pollution and segregation of waste,” she said while talking about swacch bharat and swasth bharat.
She also announced PM Aatmanirbhar Swastha Bharat; to be launched with an outlay of 64,180 crore over 6 years.
Earlier, she said that India could have never imagined the health crisis that was about to unfold when she presented budget for 2020. “The total impact of Atmanirbhar Bharat and measures by RBI was Rs 27.1 lakh crore, which amounts to 30 per cent of GDP,” Sitharaman said.