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  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Monday announced a hike in the health and wellness budget. This includes a five-year plan to ramp up primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare alongside a dedicated allocation of funds for Covid-19 vaccination, as well as urban sanitation, liquid waste management water supply, mitigation of air pollution and nutrition.
  • The Finance Minister mentioned that the budget outlay for health and well-being is INR 2,23,846 crore in 2021-22, as against only INR 94,452 crore (in 2020-21), thus having an increase of 137%.
  • There is a provision of INR 35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccine in the year 2021-22.
  • The FM also stated that the Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban), will be launched which aims at universal water supply in all 4,378 Urban Local Bodies with 2.86 crores household tap connections, as well as liquid waste management in 500 AMRUT cities. It will be implemented over 5 years, with an outlay of INR 2,87,000 crores.
  • The FM further announced a new centrally sponsored health system called the Prime Minister Aatmanirbhar Swasth Yojana that has an outlay of INR 64,180 crores over 6 years. This will strengthen the existing detection and curing centres and set up new centres in addition to the National Health Mission.

Main features of the PM Aatmanirbhar Swasth Yojana are as follows:

  1. Support for 17,000 rural and urban wellness centres
  2. Setting up health labs in all districts and 3382 public block units in 11 states
  3. Establishing critical care units in 602 districts and 12 govt institutions
  4. Strengthening National Centre for Disease control - its five centres and its urban units
  5. Expansion of the integrated Health portal to all states & UTs
  6. Operationalisation of 17 Public Health units and strengthening of 33 existing units at points of  entry - 33 airports, 7 sea ports and 11 land crossings
  7. Setting up of 17 health emergency centres and 2 mobile hospitals
  8. Setting up a regional WHO centre office, 9 bio-safety level 3 laboratories, 4 regional National Institute of Virology 
  • Further, the total financial allocation for the Urban Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 is 1,41,687 crores and is to be implemented over five years from 2021.
  • In terms of nutrition it has been decided to merge the Supplementary Nutrition Program with Poshan Abhiyan to launch Mission POSHAN 2.0.
  • An amount of 2,217 crore has also been allocated to 42 urban centres with million-plus populations to manage air pollution

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Union Budget