Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman started her Budget speech 2021 saying the Union Budget is set on six pillars with the first being healthcare and wellbeing. With the Modi government’s focus on healthcare this year, Sitharaman announced the PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana with a corpus of Rs 64,000 crore.
Sitharaman announced an outlay for health infrastructure over 6 years to be Rs 64,180 crore, which she said is a substantial increase. The minister said investment in healthcare sector has increased “substantially” in this budget as the government focuses on strengthening institutions.
The centrally sponsored scheme, PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana, will be in addition to the National Health Mission, said Sitharaman and added that the scheme will strengthen the existing health infrastructure and also create new institutions.
Sitharaman said, “The preparation of this Budget was undertaken in circumstances like never before, in view of calamities that have affected a country or a region within a country. But what we have endured with Covid-19 to 2020 is Sui generis.”
“Today, India has two vaccines available and has begun safeguarding not only her own citizens against Covid-19, but also those of 100 or more countries. It has added comfort to know that two more vaccines are expected soon,” said Sitharaman in her Budget speech.
The PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana will support 17,000 rural and 11,000 urban health missions.
Sitharaman also said that the government will be providing Rs 35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccination in 2021-22 and is committed to providing more funds in the future.