02 Feb BUDGET – BETRAYAL OF SOCIAL SECTOR
BUDGET – BETRAYAL OF SOCIAL SECTOR- Today Current Affairs
SOURCE : THE HINDU
Today Current Affairs
The government seems to have prioritised meeting its fiscal deficit targets.
The Government has not focussed on-
- Employment-Centred Growth
- Inclusive Growth
India continues to rank poorly in various global indices that reflect the quality of life, human capital or human development in the country, such as-
- The Human Development Index (rank 131 out of 189 countries)
- The Global Hunger Index (rank 101 out of 116 countries)
Undoubtedly, the pandemic over the last two years has severely impacted the poor and informal sector workers’ –
- Food security
The following reports establish the recovery in economic growth in India as K-shaped – Today Current Affairs
- Oxfam’s ‘Inequality Kills’ report
- The ICE360 survey
FINDINGS : The Hindu Analysis
Greater spending on the social sector can contribute to :
- Improvements in human development outcomes
- Provide a cushion to people during the current economic crisis
- Contribute to boosting private consumption demand
The Govt. promised for ‘one class, one TV channel’ scheme for children, who were affected by prolonged periods of school closures. Today Current Affairs.
The budget for school education –
- At ₹63,449 crore is a slight improvement over last year’s ₹54,873 crore (2021-22 budget estimates, BE)
- An increase of 6% in nominal terms compared to 2020-21 BE of ₹59,845 crore
Today Current Affairs
Rechristened the school mid-day meal scheme as Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman, simply called PM Poshan, the allocation has reduced from ₹11,500 crore last year to ₹10,233 crore this year.
The overall budget for the Department of Health and Family Welfare at ₹83,000 crore has gone up by only 16% over the BE for 2021-22 and by less than ₹1,000 crore compared to the RE for 2021-22, which is ₹82,921 crore.
The budget for the Jal Jeevan Mission has increased from ₹50,000 crore to ₹60,000 crore.
As on December end 2021, only 44% of the allocated funds to the Department of Water and Sanitation for 2021-22 has been spent.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY)- the food subsidy (BE) for 2022-23 at ₹2.06 lakh crore is only enough to cover the regular NFSA entitlements. The indication is that there is no plan to extend the PMGKAY. The food subsidy RE for 2021-22 is ₹2.86 lakh crore.
Budgets for the following important schemes, are around the same as the allocations for last year, such as –
- Saksham Anganwadi
- Maternity entitlements
- Social security pensions
The allocation for MGNREGA at ₹73,000 crore also does not reflect the increased demand for work or the the pending wages of ₹21,000 crore.
Continued negligence : The Hindu Analysis
On the whole, in the Budget for 2022-23, the social sector has once again been betrayed .
The resources allocated for crucial government schemes have remained rather stagnant in the fields of –
- Social protection
The International Labour Organization, came out with the World Social Protection Report 2020-22, that shows that –
- The spending on social protection (excluding health) in India is 1.4% of the GDP
- The average for low-middle income countries is 2.5%
Budgets on health and education have also been low.
This continued ignorance does not go well for inclusive development in India.