Covid-hurt Maharashtra focuses on healthcare

After Maharashtra’s Covid experience, budget focuses on healthcare

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | March 8, 2021 | Mumbai


#Covid-19   #Novel Coronavirus   #healthcare   #Maharashtra   #economy   #Mumbai  
Maharashtra Vidhan Bhavan (Photo courtesy: Wiki/CreativeCommons)
Maharashtra Vidhan Bhavan (Photo courtesy: Wiki/CreativeCommons)

Maharashtra, among the worst Covid-affected states, has allocated Rs 7,500 crore for construction and upgradation of health institutions over four years, and provided Rs. 5,000 crore for quality health services in the municipal councils and nagar panchayats over five years. Moreover, post-Covid counseling and treatment centres will be set up in every district hospital and government medical college in urban areas.

“The need for health care reforms in all areas has been underlined due to Covid pandemic,” finance minister Ajit Pawar said while presenting the state budget in the assembly on Monday.  

“A project costing about Rs. 7,500  crore  has  been  prepared  to  provide  quality  health  care and  treatment  to the  people  by  constructing  and  upgrading  health  institutions  under  the Public Health Department and it will be completed in the next four years.The  proposal  includes  construction  of  district  hospital,  psychiatric, trauma  care center,  primary  health  center  and  sub-center,  upgrading  and  construction  of  taluka  level hospital,” he said.

On civil health services, he noted, “Against the increasing  urbanization  of  the  state,  the  state government   has   set   up   an   office   of   the   Director,   Civil   Health   under   the Health Commissionerate, to   ensure   quality   health   care   to   the   urban   people   and   effective implementation  of  the  National  Health  Program.  Thereby  in  a  time-bound  manner,  in  the form of a campaign, quality health services will be made available in the Municipal Councils and  Nagar  Panchayats  by  increasing  the  health  care  infrastructure. For this, Rs. 5000  crore will  be  provided  by  the  government  in  the  next  five  years.  Out  of  this,  Rs  800  crore  will  be made available in this year.”

Moreover, “Due  to  Covid ,  we came  to  learn  that  the state  must  have modern hospitals  for  the  treatment  of contagious diseases. Modern referral  service  hospitals  for  contagious  disease will  be  set  up  in  the premises  of  Aundh District hospital. It is planned to set up sub-centers of these hospitals at the divisional and district level in phases.”

Benefits to women
“The Global pandemic of Covid-19 has affected the state economy unprecedentedly in the last year. As a result industry, service and other sectors of the state have been severely impacted,” Pawar said. “However despite slowdown in the economy, keeping women as a focal point, I propose the following measures in Part- II of the budget…. On the eve [sic] of International Women’s Day, I propose concession in Stamp Duty of 1 Percent over the prevailing rate exclusively to Women, provided the transfer of house property or registration of sale deed is in the name of woman or women only,” he announced. This move will lead to a revenue shortfall of around Rs. 1,000 crore.

To compensate it, the MVA government has turned to liquor for extra revenue. An increase in state excise duty on liquor will get additional revenue of Rs 800 crore, while an increase VAT on liquor is estimated to get additional revenue of Rs 1,000 crore.

Among other highlights of the budget:

Projects for development of Mumbai

* Mumbai Trans-harbour Link project will be completed by September 2022. A four-lane flyover is under construction to connect Bandra-Worli sea link to MTHL which will completed in next three years.
* 126 km long “Virar-Alibaug Multimodal Corridor” costing Rs. 40,000 crore, of which land acquisition is in progress.
* Thane Coastal Road which is 15 k.m. long and 40 meters wide, parallel to Thane Creek is in progress costing Rs. 1,250 crore.
* Vasai to Kalyan water transport service will be made available in the first phase

Internal transport services in Mumbai city

* Work of Bandra-Versova sea link,17.17 km long, and estimated to cost Rs. 11,333 crore is in progress. The estimated cost of Bandra-Versova-Virar sea link is Rs. 42,000 crores and the feasibility report is being prepared.
* Estimated cost of Goregaon-Mulund link road is Rs. 6600 crores and the tendering work is in process.
* The Mumbai costal road project is progressing rapidly and it is planned to complete before 2024.

Tourist Attractions in Mumbai

* Hindu-Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray Smarak has been approved for a cost of Rs. 400 crore.

Infrastructure Development in Mumbai

* Sewage water treatment plants at  Worli,  Bandra,  Dharavi,  Ghatkopar,  Bhandup,  Versova and Malad are being undertaken at a cost of Rs. 19500 crore.
* A project for rejuvenation of the Mithi, Dahisar, Poisar and Oshivara river has been started.
 

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