edited by: Mohammad Haris
Last Update: February 27, 2023, 15:52 IST
The world is emerging from more than two years of a pandemic-induced economic recession, while also grappling with the effects of the war in Ukraine, and inflationary pressures as a result of rising spending combating the fallout from lockdowns due to COVID-19 Is. India is no different and there is limited fiscal space to increase spending. While on target to achieve the fiscal deficit of 6.4 per cent this fiscal, significant efforts are required to meet the target of 4.5 per cent set for FY26. As the last full budget before next year’s general elections, all eyes were on this year’s budget to see the direction the government would take on India’s economic roadmap.
The reality of this situation created the need for a budget that, while being prudent in outlays, also ensured upliftment of the weakest, reduced inequality, and grassroots development to ensure that no Don’t be left behind either. Thus, there was a need for re-prioritization with greater focus on inclusive growth, green growth, last mile delivery, youth, agriculture and rural development. In addition, it is recognized that there is a need to enhance efficiency as well, and the budget focuses on technology-driven, digital interventions to drive service delivery.
While the allocation for most schemes has remained mostly the same, some strategic schemes have seen an increase in allocation, and new schemes have been announced to ensure that no one is left behind. There has been a significant increase in the outlay of existing schemes like Jal Jeevan Mission and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin. The new plans have also recognized the need for efficiency by creating integrated plans for the delivery of social services and infrastructure. Prime Minister Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups Development Mission (PMPVTGDM), for which Rs. 15,000 crore has been allocated, and the Aspirational Block Programme, both aimed at ensuring delivery of basic infrastructure in areas that currently lag, thus ensuring overall social development.
Several announcements to increase efficiency, improve cropping patterns and generate livelihood opportunities in the agriculture sector with the announcement of Clean Plant Programme, an Agriculture Accelerator Fund, emphasis on building storage infrastructure and raising targets for agriculture credit Also seen.
Strengthening its credentials for inclusive growth and gender-sensitive development, the government has announced a plan to bring together India’s 81 lakh women self-help groups (SHGs) to form large productive enterprises that can be leveraged for their entrepreneurial endeavours. Will be trained to manage professionally and deliver quality. Materials and PM development for making advanced products, a new scheme to support artisans and handicrafts manufacturers and integrate them into the MSME value chain.
The health sector also saw forward-looking policies on research and development. The government also announced a mission to eliminate sickle cell anemia by 2047, a disease that disproportionately affects vulnerable groups, especially tribal people, showing a commitment to addressing public health issues at large. Is.
However, there are still some areas that need attention. Allocations for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGA) have seen a further reduction, a continuing trend. With unemployment rising steadily in rural India, such a decision may need to be reconsidered when the revised estimates of the budget are released.
Further, while large medical health infrastructure has been identified as a priority area, no major increase has been observed in the outlay on pharmacovigilance and disease preparedness. As we see increasing reports of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and animal-to-human transmission of zoonotic diseases, there is a need for specialized infrastructure and focus in these areas.
Largely prudent and responding to immediate social sector needs, we will need to see how these reforms work. However, it is safe to say that the budget has created a platform on which the most vulnerable of the society can be served through government programs in an efficient, integrated and sustainable manner.
(The author is Partner (Public Sector Consulting) in Grant Thornton India)
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