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

On a personal note: Javed Jaffrey

After his much-appreciated debut in Meri Jung in 1985, Javed Jaffrey inspired a new generation of dancers. He then turned from dance to comedy. The versatile actor constantly changes his styles and his live, film, TV and radio appearances always promise novelty and surprise. In 2014 he joined the Aam A

Allegations against CJI: Inquiry will strengthen the independence of the judiciary

Yes, we must stand rock solid with the judiciary and the judges. We must protect the independence of the judiciary too. What does this mean in the present context of a very serious charge of sexual harassment levelled by a former employee of the court against the CJI?  We are told that there is a larg

“Managing data is challenging”

The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) is a society set up by the railways ministry in July 1986 to provide IT related services to the Indian Railways. CRIS deals in a gamut of functions, like passenger ticketing, freight operations, train dispatching and control, crew management, e-procurement,

A boost to those who need it most

What are 600 million people? Almost twice the population of the US. What are 500 million people? About three-fourth of the population of Europe. Why are we talking about these numbers? Well, because as per a study by Sandhya Krishnan and Neeraj Hatekar (‘Rise of New Middle Class in India and Its

Expanding Eureka!

Abright yellow van with figures of children playing with a whirligig, a Newton’s cradle, a magnetic compass rolls into the Government Higher Primary School in Kittaganahalli, on the outskirts of Bengaluru. Students in the playground leave what they are doing and mill about it in excitement. For they

The spark in the classroom

Not many children dream of starting an idyllic school of their own when they grow up. But Ramji Raghavan, founder of the Agastya International Foundation – which fosters the creative learning of science in stude



Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter