Delhi seeks to universalise free healthcare for children

Diesel cars, sweets and tobacco set to get costlier as state hikes taxes in budget

jasleen

Jasleen Kaur | March 23, 2011



On the lines of right to education, Delhi government on Tuesday announced  the Chacha Nehru Sehat Yojna, through which universal and free health care will be provided to all the children of the state upto the age of 14 years. With this, almost 27 lakh school children will be covered under universal free health facility. An initial corpus of Rs 100 crore is proposed in the plan budget.

Chief minister Sheila Dikshit, who presented her first budget in 12 years, gave priority to social sectors while education and health remained focus areas of the government in the budget 2011-12.

Delhi government has been providing limited insurance ceiling under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna to economically poor. Dikshit announced the implementation of new insurance scheme called Aapka Swasthaya Bima Yojna. Critical diseases with an annual insurance cover by Rs one lakh and fifty thousand will be covered under the new insurance scheme.

To provide hygiene to the school going girls the government has decided to provide sanitary napkins to girls of class six to 12 in all government and government aided schools. It will also provide scholarship of Rs 1000 per annum to all students of class one to class eighth of SC/ST and minorities section in government and government aided schools.

The government will also recruit 14,000 teachers, principals, lab assistants in the current fiscal year. Chief minister Dikshit said that this would be the largest employment opportunity ever made available by the state government.

The state government also proposed to enhance the fund earmarked under MLA Local Area development fund from Rs 2 crore to Rs 2.5 crore.

Also, this year one will have to pay more for consuming sweetmeats and savouries. The CM has proposed to enhance the VAT from 5% to 12.5%. She said, “The idea is not too much collection but the budget has a social message. Lifestyle diseases are increasing at a fast rate and we want to control that.”

Dikshit's budget will also make diesel cars more expensive with the budget proposing a 25 percent increase in their registration fees.

Similarly, it has also been proposed to levy VAT at 12.5% on unmanufactured tobacco, bidis and tobacco used in manufacture of bidis and hooka tobacco.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE BUDGET

• The work for construction of 30 new school buildings is proposed to be taken up. The projects of construction of 15 new school buildings have been approved.

• With an aim to encourage more girls to join technical institution, the government has decided to upgrade Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology as a technical university for women.

• An outlay of Rs 167 crore is proposed for construction of new hospitals.

• Delhi metro will be expanded with the execution of its Third Phase which will add 103 km of new Metro lines. It will be completed by March 2016.

• Monthly honorarium of Anganwadi workers will be increased from Rs 2500 to Rs 4000 this year.

• Government has also approved creation of additional infrastructure facilities in schools including 2768 classrooms, 1000 toilets and 470 water modules.

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