Union budget focuses on spending to boost economic growth, strengthen health sector: Prasad

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Patna, Feb 6 (PTI) Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday said the central budget for 2021-22 fiscal has focused on spending to build infrastructure and boost the economic growth of the country.

Stating that the budget was historic as it was presented in the backdrop of the COVID-19 challenges, he said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman emphasised on the health sector and increased its allocation by 137 per cent.

Prasad said the budget should be seen in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the announcement of Rs 27 lakh crore Atma Nirbhar Bharat scheme.

The Centre has increased the budgetary outlay for health and wellbeing to over Rs 2.23 lakh crore from an estimated allocation of around Rs 94,000 crore in the current fiscal.

He also said the allocation of Rs 64,180 crore for Atma Nirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana will help open new critical care hospitals and medical facilities across the country.

The Union IT and Communication minister mentioned that the budget focused on providing safe drinking water, cleanliness and addressing the issue of malnutrition.

The government has also allocated Rs 35,000 crore for COVID vaccination programme, he said, adding the finance minister made it clear that the Centre will provide more fund if required.

Keeping in mind the importance of safe drinking water to make people healthy, he said the government has allocated Rs 2.87 lakh crore to the Jal Jeevan Mission.

This will help universal water supply in all 4,378 urban local bodies with 2.86 crore household tap water connections.

Asserting that the Narendra Modi government is committed to the development of farmers and also to double their income, Prasad said the budget has arranged for disbursement of Rs 16.05 lakh crore as farm loan.

The government has provided Rs 5.54 lakh crore for capital expenditure as against the allocation of Rs 4.21 lakh crore in the current fiscal.

Prasad was accompanied by legislator Arun Kumar Sinha, BJP's state headquarters in-charge Suresh Rungta and other leaders at the press meet. PTI AR BDC BDC