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Union Budget 2019-20 proposes 18.67% increase in total outlay for Health Ministry, 154.87% increase for Ayushman Bharat

New Delhi: The General Budget 2019-20 presented on Friday by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman shows an increase of 18.67% in the total outlay for the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

“This reflects the importance accorded to the health sector in the country,” said Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.

There is an additional Rs 9,859.12 crore allocated in Budget Estimate 2019-20 against BE 2018-19. The BE 2018-19 was Rs 52,800 crore, whereas that of the current financial year ending March 31, 2020 is Rs 62,659.12 crore, according to the Health Minister.

The health ministry’s flagship programme, Ayushman Bharat has seen an increase of 154.87% (Rs 4,956 crore), which covers the two pillars of Health & Wellness Centres (HWCs) and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY).

There has been an increase of 92.44% (Rs 402.06 crore) over previous year in the ASHA Benefit package, whereas an additional Rs 450.01 (8.57% increase) has been allocated for immunisation, women and children.

Dr Harsh Vardhan said that as part of strengthening of the institutions, which form an integral pillar of health systems network in the country, the provision for Infrastructure Maintenance has been increased by 11.42%, whereas for Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), an additional 4.58% has been allocated in BE 2019-20 over the previous FY.

In addition, Rs 3,000 crore will be raised through Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) for PMSSY Projects during FY 2019-20, he added. The allocation for the North Eastern Institutes increased by 77.12%.

Also, as part of the Union Budget announced on Friday, there has been an increase of 154.24% for the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for strengthening of food testing system in the country, including provision of Mobile Food Testing Labs.

In addition, the basic excise duty has been imposed on Tobacco and Tobacco products, which will help tobacco control efforts, said the health minister.

The Department incurred an expenditure of Rs 52,959.56 crore (i.e. 100.3% of BE 2018-19) during the last financial year.

As the Union Minister of Science & Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan said the proposed National Research Foundation (NRF) is a grand step which shall provide an extraordinary direction for consolidation and expansion of research, technology development and technology led innovation, and a new fillip for fulfilment of the vision of Prime Minister’s New India.

As stated in the Union Budget, NRF will ensure that overall research ecosystem in the country is strengthened with focus on identified thrust areas relevant to the national priorities and towards basic science without duplication of efforts and expenditure.

Reference

Notes on Demands for Grants, 2019-2020, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Demand No. 42, Department of Health and Family Welfare

Notes on Demands for Grants, 2019-2020, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Demand No. 43, Department of Health Research

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