Nirmala Sitharaman presents budget, announces Rs 35,000 crore for coronavirus vaccination programme

Finance Minister of India Nirmala Sitharaman announced an outlay of Rs 35,000 crore for India’s coronavirus vaccination programme, while presenting the Union Budget 2021-’22 in the Parliament on Monday.

The government will make more allocations to this fund, as and when required, she added.

Sitharaman said that the proposals made in this year’s Budget rest on six pillars. These are health and well-being, physical and financial capital and infrastructure, inclusive development for “ an “aspirational India”, reinvigorating human capital, innovation and Research and Development, and the policy of “minimum government, maximum governance”.

Sitharaman also announced the Aatmanirbhar Health Yojana with a budget of Rs 64,180 crore over six years.

The resources will also be used for setting up institutes for the detection and cure of new and emerging disease, the finance minister said.

Interventions under Aatmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana include, setting up health and wellness centres, establishing integrated public health labs in all districts of the country and developing critical care hospital blocks at grassroot levels.

“India now has one of the lowest Covid-19 death rates of 112 per million population and one of the lowest active cases of about 130 per million,” the finance minister said.

“This has laid the foundation for the economic revival we see today,” she added.

Investment in healthcare infrastructure has increased substantially, Sitharaman said.

“Three areas – preventive health, curative health and well-being – will be strengthened,” the finance minister said.


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