The Honorable Minister for Finance Shri.Pranab Kumar Mukharjee presented the Union Budget for 2012-13 in parliament today. Here is a snap shot of the major highlights of his budget speech regarding the Health Sector in India.
Major highlights for Department of Health and Family Welfare
- National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) is being implemented through ‘Accredited Social Health Activist’- ‘ASHA’ and the scope of ASHA’s activities is being enlarged to include prevention of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, ensure 100 per cent immunization and better spacing of children. At the community level, a more active role is envisaged for ASHA as the convenor of the Village Health and Sanitation Committee, as also to support the initiative on malnutrition. Since ASHAs receive activity-wise, performance-based payments, this will also enhance their remuneration.
- Allocation for NRHM proposed to be increased from Rs.18,115 crore in 2011-12 to Rs.20,822 crore in 2012-13.National Urban Health Mission is being launched to encompass the primary healthcare needs of people in the urban areas.
- The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) aimed at setting up of AIIMS-like institutions and up gradation of existing Government medical colleges is being expanded to cover up gradation of 7 more Government medical colleges.
- Within the existing limit for deduction allowed for health insurance it is proposed to allow a deduction of up to Rs.5,000 for preventive health check-up.
Indirect Tax/Service Tax
- Proposal to extend concessional basic customs duty of 5 per cent with full exemption from excise duty/CVD to 6 specified life saving drugs/vaccines.
- Basic customs duty and excise duty reduced on Soya products to address protein deficiency among women and children.
- Basic customs duty and excise duty reduced on Iodine.
- Basic customs duty reduced on Probiotics
Multi-sectoral Nutrition Augmentation Programme
Following the decision taken in the Prime Minister’s National Council on India’s Nutritional Challenges, a multi-sectoral programme to address maternal and child malnutrition in selected 200 high burden districts is being rolled out during 2012-13. It will harness synergies across nutrition, sanitation, drinking water, primary health care, women education, food security and consumer protection schemes.
In this context, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme is being strengthened and re-structured. For 2012-13, an allocation of Rs.15,850 crore has been made as against Rs.10,000 crore in 2011-12. This amounts to an increase of over 58 per cent.
National Programme of Mid Day Meals in Schools has enhanced enrolment, retention, attendance, and also helped in improving nutrition levels among children. In 2012-13, It is proposed to allocate Rs.11,937 crore for this scheme as against Rs.10,380 crore in 2011-12.
Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls, SABLA, has been introduced last year with a view to address the nutritional needs and other educational and skill development initiatives for self development of adolescent girls in the age group of 11 to 18 years. For 2012-13, an allocation of Rs.750 crore has been proposed for the scheme
Download Budget highlights 2012 : www.similima.com/pdf/budget-highlights.pdf