The Union Budget 2020-2021 has addressed preventative, curative health and well-being, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday, adding that in spite of bringing water and sanitation, the allocations to the core health has gone up.
While replying to the discussion on the Union Budget in Lok Sabha, Sitharaman said, “In the Budget speech, I very clearly said, we are taking a holistic approach to health. It is addressing preventive health, it is addressing curative health, it is also addressing well-being. I will firmly establish that in spite of bringing water and sanitation, the allocations to the core health has not come down. On the contrary, it has gone up,” she said.
She further added, “Respecting Indian entrepreneurial skills, Indian managerial skills, Indian trade skills, Indian business skills, Indian youth, Jana Sangh onwards, the BJP has consistently believed in India. We didn’t borrow something from somewhere and gave a hybrid.”
While addressing questions about the Defence expenditure, Sitharaman compared figures of the present budget with 2013-14, the last year of the United Progressive Alliance.
“Some have asked why defence is not getting a mention in the speech. In 2013 and 2014, Rs 1,16,931 crores expenditure was allocated in Defence. This being so huge but unless we bring it down into three compartments, you aren’t going to get a true picture,” she said.
“These are the figures now– In 2013-14, under revenue Rs 1,16,931 crores, Rs 86,741 crores capital and under pensions it was Rs 44,500 crores. Now, it is Rs 2,09,319 cr under revenue, Rs 1,13,734 crores under capital and Rs 1,33,825 cr under pension,” she added.
She further addressed questions posed regarding allocation for minorities asserting that total allocation for minority affairs is higher than actual expenditure.
“Some members have questioned whether allocation for minority affairs, the allocation for SC and ST has been reduced. No, they have not. Total allocation for minority affairs is Rs 4,811 crores in 2021-22 which is an 8.6 per cent increase for the ministry, higher than actual expenditure,” she said.