- COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated mental health problems in people of all ages, Sitharaman said
- This will include a network of 23 tele mental health centres of excellence, finance minister said
- Budget seeks to lay the foundation to steer the economy over 'Amrit Kaal' of next 25 years, she said
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday announced the launch of a National Tele Mental Health program, saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated mental health problems in people of all ages.
"The pandemic has accentuated mental health problems in people of all ages. To better the access to quality mental health counselling and care services, a National Tele Mental Health program will be launched," she said while presenting the Union Budget 2022-23 in the Parliament today.
She added, "This will include a network of 23 tele mental health centres of excellence with Nimhans being the nodal centre and IIIT Bangalore providing technical support."
The Union Minister said that the Budget seeks to lay the foundation to steer the economy over 'Amrit Kaal' of next 25 years, from India at 75 to India at 100 and continuing to build on the vision of Budget.
Presenting the Union Budget, Sitharaman said that the overall sharp rebound and recovery of the economy is reflective of India's strong resilience.
FM Sitharaman began her presentation of Budget 2022 by expressing empathy with those who were affected by the adverse health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Finance Minister said that India's economic growth in the current year is estimated to be 9.2 per cent, the highest among all large economies.
Before the presentation, a Union Cabinet meeting was held which approved the Budget 2022-23.
Earlier today, Sitharaman met President Ram Nath Kovind ahead of the Budget presentation. She was accompanied by Ministers of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary, Bhagwat Karad and other officials from the Ministry.
In an attempt to go green, the Union Budget for 2022-2023 was presented in a paperless format. Sitharaman read out the Budget at the Parliament through a tab, instead of the traditional 'bahi khata'.
Vikram Thaploo, CEO Apollo Telehealth, said that the launch of the program will provide support to people with mental health disorders. "Also, an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem will be rolled out and it'll further help in strengthening the healthcare services within the country," he said, adding that the increased investment towards health infrastructure and focus on a holistic approach to health is a testimony of the commitment to building stronger health systems in the country.
On Monday, she tabled this year's Economic Survey, centred around the theme of "Agile approach", which forecasted India's economy to grow by 9.2 per cent during Financial Year 2021-22 and by 8-8.5 per cent in fiscal 2023 beginning 1 April.
The budget session of Parliament began on Monday with the address by President Ram Nath Kovind to both Houses in the Central Hall.
The first part of the Union Budget Session of Parliament will be held from January 31 to February 11 and the second part of the Budget Session will take place from March 14 to April 8.
(With inputs from ANI)