In last week’s blog, we looked at general key highlights as well as the impact of the budget on the average tax payer. Today, let us examine the impact of the Union budget on other sectors such as health, education, housing, etc.
From a Health Perspective –
The pandemic has affected the healthcare infrastructure in more ways than one. Here are some of the provisions announced by the government to minimize the damage –
- The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on everyone’s lives, especially mentally. In order to provide support to those who have been affected, the launch of a National Tele Mental Health Program has been announced.
- A network of 23 mental health centers of excellence will operate this with Bengaluru’s NIMHANS(National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences) as the nodal center and IIIT(Indian Institute of Information Technology), Bengaluru providing tech support.
- The government will also roll out an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem.
- This platform will have digital registries of health facilities, health providers, unique health identity, and access to health care facilities.
- Essentially it will be a single platform that will connect different facets of healthcare for easy and transparent access.
- The government has also allotted a higher budget to the National Health Mission. This program aims to provide equal access to affordable and quality healthcare services to all.
- The current healthcare budget allocation is 16% higher than last time which is good news as it can bring about improvement and growth.
Infrastructure and Development
As the population and economy grows, the need for infrastructure will also change. Given below are some of the important plans that have been announced –
- An upgrade of infrastructure including roads, railways, etc. will be done through the The PM GatiShakti – National Plan for Multimodal Connectivity.
- This plan was initially launched in October and aims to upgrade infrastructure through promotion between seven sectors( roads, railways, ports, airports, mass transport, waterways, and logistics). This plan is also set to boost the job sector by creating new employment opportunities.
- An additional 25,000 km of roads will be added to the existing 1.4 km of the National Highway network under the PM GatiShakti Plan.
- 400 new Vande Bharat trains will be added in the next three years.
Schooling and Education
One of the worst-hit sectors in the country thanks to the COVID pandemic, there have been various steps taken to try and mitigate the damage of schools being closed. Here are some of the initiatives taken to improve this sector –
- In order to provide world class education to students across the country, a Digital University will be established. Subjects will be taught in multiple languages and formats for greater inclusion.
- To promote critical thinking skills and a better learning environment, virtual and e-labs are to be launched
- Taking into consideration the difficulties encountered by students, the ‘one class, one TV channel’ program will be expanded to 200 TV channels from 12.
- This program was initially launched by the Union Education Ministry under the PM eVidya scheme and provides radio and DTH channels to those without access to the internet.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of the 2022 Union budget, the affordable housing sector is set to get a huge boost. Here’s how the budget has treated the housing sector –
- Rs. 48,000 crore has been allotted for the completion of 80 lakh houses under the PM Awas Yojana in both rural and urban areas.
- The government has however decided not to extend the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme which is set to lapse on March 31, 2022.
- Under this scheme, those with yearly income of less than Rs. 6 lakh can get an interest subvention at the rate of 6%. This is applicable for a home loan of Rs. 6 lakh.
- The PMAY-Gramin scheme has been extended to 2024 with the aim of providing 2.95 crore pucca houses
- 1% TDS will be applicable on a non-agriculture immovable property worth more than Rs. 50 lakh.
- This will depend on the sale price or the stamp duty value, whichever is higher, after an amendment in the Income Tax Act.
The Union Budget 2022 has attracted mixed reactions. While there are some who believe that this budget is ideal given the current circumstances (pandemic, economic slowdown, inflation, etc.), there are others who believe that the middle class has been the most affected as usual.
The above is just a glimpse into some of the salient points announced. You can always visit the official website of the Ministry of Finance to find out more.
What is your take on the budget? Let us know in the comments below.