Budget forward looking, opine experts

“The healthcare sector was in dire need of attention and it is good to see the government address some of its concerns with bold and aspirational initiatives.”

GN Bureau | February 2, 2018


#Health   #Narendra modi   #Arun Jaitley   #Budget 2018   #Employment  


The union budget will boost investments, accelerate innovation and generate new career opportunities, felt experts who noted that the focus on Artificial Intelligence is a timely move.

Union minister Arun Jaitley presented the budget on Thursday.

Shyamal Mukherjee, chairman PwC India, said that this year’s budget clearly illustrates the government’s intent to look at development holistically.

“The thrust on fuelling the rural economy through measures around agriculture and creating an enabling ecosystem through investments in infrastructure is commendable. These, in addition to incentives planned for MSMEs, will help create additional jobs. The healthcare sector was in dire need of attention and it is good to see the government address some of its concerns with bold and aspirational initiatives. The efforts towards strengthening India’s position as a digital economy through investments around new-age technologies like AI and Fintech is a timely and welcome move,” he said.

Manish Agarwal, partner and leader, infrastructure, PwC India, said that allocation of Rs 50 lakh crore for infrastructure is welcome as it reaffirms continued funding of various initiatives in roads, railways and urban infrastructure. Quantum leap in airport capacity is a key requirement to keep pace with the rapid growth in aviation. Other initiatives, outside the budget, to revive the private sector play in these sectors, will complement and further the impact of the budget allocations.

On Artificial Intelligence, Milan Sheth, technology sector leader, EY India, observed that the budget provision for R&D in AI/Robotics is a huge boost for the country as it will accelerate our journey to being seen as global hub of technological capabilities and help us churn out futuristic technologies in Machine Learning, Cognitive and Robotics Process Automation etc.

“The establishment of NITI Aayog national programme will boost investments, accelerate innovation and generate new career opportunities that will set India on its path to being seen as the global hub for pioneering technologies,” he added.

Hitesh Sharma, national leader, Lifesciences, EY India, noted that Jaitley has taken a positive step in building/ enlarging the base for health and wellness by upgrading the existing district hospitals in the country to 24 new Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals. Further, using the 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres already setup last year, it would now provide comprehensive healthcare, free essential drugs and diagnostic services with expected support from private sector and philanthropic institutions.

“The biggest benefit is expansion of coverage of insurance to the underprivileged by providing coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. Lastly, an additional allocation of Rs 600 crore has been proposed to provide nutritional support to all TB patients is a welcome move and step towards universal health coverage. Overall very positive for the Healthcare industry,” added Sharma.

ASSOCHAM president Sandeep Jajodia said that Jaitley has placed a huge emphasis on agriculture and rural India, allocating bulk of resources to interior landscape, while helping the middle class salaried employees along with relief to senior citizens, measures which would boost consumer demand and help revive economic growth.

 “The agri and rural landscape were in some kind of distress and provision of over Rs 14.34 lakh crore to be spent on rural infrastructure should also add to the employment generation especially in the farm sector,” said Jajodia. “This money would come from non-budgetary sources.”

He also said what stands out is the reform in the agriculture marketing. “The launch of 585 e-mandis and linking them with 22,000 APMC mandis, without applying restrictive clause would help farmers as also those companies engaged in agri –processing, FMCG including organized big retail chains. One of the major problems associated with the Minimum Support Price (MSP) was its implementation. Now, the Finance Minister has committed that the NITI Aayog would coordinate with the state governments to ensure that the farmers get price of their produce which is one and half times of the cost.

 “Initiatives like Operation Green to stabilize prices of highly political and consumer sensitive onion and potato would help ease the retail inflation and would help the RBI in keeping interest rates on lower side,” he added.
 

Comments

 

Other News

Kartarpur Sahib: The corrdidor can show the way to peace

When the corridor to the Gurudwara Darbar Sahib, in Kartarpur (Pakistan), was opened for the pilgrims from India on November 9, prime minister Narendra Modi recalled the fall of Berlin Wall, which took place on the same date 30 years ago. The Berlin Wall collapse not only reunited the two Ge

On A Personal Note with Anees Bazmee, film writer, director and producer

Starting out as a child artist, in a career spanning more than three and half decades Anees Bazmee has written/directed more than 60 films in Hindi, Tamil and Marathi in a variety of genres. After writing films like ‘Hum Farishtey Nahin’, ‘Swarg’, and ‘Aankhen’, he d

Rafale review petitions dismissed

The supreme court on Thursday dismissed the petitions seeking a review of its December 2018 verdict on the Rafale deal. The bench found no merit in review petitions that had sought an investigation into the high-profile defence deal. “We don’t feel necessary to order FIR or rovin

Power struggle, stalemate lead to president’s rule in Maharashtra

Maharashtra has been placed under the president’s rule after the leading contenders failed to make a head start in government formation amid tussle for power. Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari informed the president Tuesday that despite all efforts he did not see any possibility of gover

From Jal Shakti to Jal Prabandhan

This piece is based on a previous article by the authors published in Geoforum [Elsevier] in May 2019: available online: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/ S0016718519300764?via%3Dihub

Shiv Sena set to form government in Maharashtra

The BJP’s oldest ally Shiv Sena is once again parting ways, putting their alliance behind and preparing to form government in Maharashtra with the support of the NCP and Congress. Nineteen days after the legislative assembly elections, despite a clear mandate for the BJP and Sena, Maha



Archives

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter