Budget 2016 has been a mixed bag overall
Budget 2016 has been a mixed bag overall. The focus on infrastructure, rural development and social sector spending are important catalysts for boosting the economy’s growth rate.
On the healthcare front, the budgetary emphasis on the sector was fairly muted. While certain initiatives such as the new health insurance scheme or the National Dialysis Services programme are good, perhaps a more holistic, well rounded thrust would have served the sector better in delivering good health to those in need of it.
The initial outlay of Rs 1,000 crores to fund higher education is simply not enough, given the huge gap and growing need for students to have access to high quality education. One hopes that the government will build upon this and expand access to higher education to a much larger section of society.
The plan to set up the National Board of Skill Development in partnership with industry and academia is definitely a step in the right direction. This move will foster an environment of understanding and collaboration that will ensure skill development is mapped to industry needs, thereby creating more job opportunities in the long run.
The finance minister began his speech by articulating the nine pillars on which his budget proposals were built, that would have a transformative impact on the economy and people. The social sector, including healthcare was in the top five. We now look forward to a positive impact on this important aspect of India’s growth story.