FM lays foundation of Atmanirbhar Bharat; announces Rs 35,000 crore for vaccines development

While the economy is still struggling with the consequences of Covid-19, budgetary support for vaccination and health care assumes utmost importance in today’s Budget presentation.

This is the most important pillar of the vision for Atmanirbhar and Swachh Bharat, said Finance Minister Sitharaman. The government will be focusing on three areas viz. preventive health, curative health and well-being, the finance minister said in her Budget speech.

FM has provided a budgetary support of Rs 35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccines and promised to ramp it up if needed. It will overcome fears and boost the service sector for full recovery. As Vaccination progresses, hospitality, tourism and formal retail sectors will resume their normal pace.

To augment health and sanitation infrastructure, FM announced a new health infra scheme with significantly higher outlay of Rs 61,000 crore and provided for a record total outlay of Rs 2,23,846 crore for health and wellbeing. This mega boost to health and well-being will create many employment opportunities and help absorb the additional workforce entering the labour market.

The announcement assumes added significance because the Finance Minister is presenting the Budget at a time when India is recovering from the Covid-19 crisis.

Increase in healthcare expenditure also found a mention in Rahul Gandhi’s list ahead of the Budget presentation. In a tweet, Gandhi said: “Support MSMEs, farmers and workers to generate employment. Increase Healthcare expenditure to save lives. Increase Defence expenditure to safeguard borders.”

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