In a world experiencing serious recessionary trends the Government has done a commendable task of projecting a real GDP growth of 7 to 7.5 per cent, nominal GDP growth of 11 per cent and a fiscal deficit of between 3.5 per cent to 3.7 per cent for fiscal 2016/17.
The FM's focus on the nine core pillars of Agriculture and farmer welfare, Rural sector & Rural Employment, Social Sector including healthcare, Education/ Skilling India, Infrastructure, Financial reforms, Governance and ease of doing business , Fiscal discipline and Tax Reforms are designed to transform the Indian economy.
The Finance Minister has done well by recognising the importance of a healthy population. Significant among the steps to reduce the hardship of disease is the move to cover one third of India's population through healthcare insurance of Rs 1 lakh for hospitalisation with a top up of Rs 30 thousand for those above 60 years of age. Government will also improve the availability of affordable medicines by setting up 3,000 stores for dispensing generic medicines and will also allow duty free import of dialysis equipment.
Higher allocations under the Swacchh Bharat programme will help in lowering the burden of communicable diseases. Additionally, the availability of LPG to rural households for smoke-free cooking will alleviate the burden of respiratory diseases and associated cancers. Also, the encouragement provided to organic farming, will in the long term go towards healthier diets and the reduction of chemical residues in our food chain.
With positive directional steps having been announced we hope that the FM will continue to look at opportunities during the course of the year to further encourage private sector investments in the expansion and creation of healthcare infrastructure and for medical education."