Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today proposed the introduction of Aatmanirbhar Swasthya Yojana, with an outlay of Rs 64,180 crores. Speaking on the plan, the finance minister said the government is fully prepared to support the economy for sustainable growth. Tabling the Union Budget 2021-22, she said the Prime Minister Atmanirbhar Swasthya Bharat Yojana will develop the capacity for primary, secondary, and tertiary care health systems in the country. Sitharaman said that the main interventions under the scheme will support over 17,000 rural and 11,000 urban wellness centres.
"Even at the outset investment in health infrastructure in this budget increased substantially progressively as institutions observe more. Taking a holistic approach, we focus on strengthening three areas- preventing, curative and well being. Health system a new Centrally sponsored scheme PM Atmanirbhar Swasthya Bharat Yojana will be launched with an outlay of Rs 64,180 crore," she said.
"Over six years, this will develop the capacity for primary, secondary, and tertiary care health systems and strengthen national institutions and create new institutions to cater and cure new and emerging diseases. This will be in addition to the National Health Mission," she added.
The Finance Minister said that the Budget proposals for 2021-22 rest on six pillars --health and well-being, physical and financial capital and infrastructure, inclusive development for aspirational India, reinvigorating human capital, innovation and R&D, minimum government, and maximum governance.
Sitharaman said that the total financial impact of all AtmaNirbharBharat packages, including measures taken by RBI, was estimated to be about Rs 27.1 lakh crore, with an amount of more than 13 per cent of GDP.
"When I presented the budget 2020-21, we could not have imagined that the global economy already.. in slowdown would be pushed into an unprecedented contraction. We could not have imagined then that our people as those in other countries would have to endure the loss of near and dear and suffer hardships due to health crisis. The risk of not having a lockdown was far more and far too high," she said.
The Minister pointed out that within 48 hours of declaring a three-week lockdown, the Prime Minister announced PM Garib Kalyan Yojana valued at Rs 2.76 lakh crore that provided free food, free food grain to 800 million people, free cooking gas for 80 million families for months, and cash directly to over 400 million farmers, women, elderly, poor and needy.
"In May 2020, the government announced the AatmaNirbhar Bharat package to sustain the recovery further into the year. We also rolled out two AatmaNirbharBharat packages. The total financial impact of all AatmaNirbharBharat packages, including measures taken by RBI, was estimated to be about Rs 27.1 lakh crore, with an amount of more than 13 per cent of GDP," the Minister said.
The finance minister also said India has two COVID-19 vaccines and two more will be launched. She noted that the government has stretched its resources for the benefit of the poorest of the poor.
Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2021-22 on Monday, which was approved by the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier today.
Sitharaman, who had in her first budget in 2019 replaced leather briefcase that had been for decades used for carrying budget documents with a traditional red cloth 'bahi-khata', had earlier this month stated that the budget for the fiscal year beginning April will be "like never before".
It has to be a vision statement, a roadmap to get the world's fastest-growing major economy back on track.