Announcing the Financial Budget for the year 2020-21, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday proposed for health cess to be implemented on import of medical equipment.
Introducing health cess, the Finance Minister said, "I propose for Health cess on import of medical equipment, keeping in view that these goods are now being made in India."
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•Health cess on import of medical equipment, keeping in view that these goods are now being made in India pic.twitter.com/hjl4PK9y2g
Nirmala Sitharaman also announced expansion of various health schemes. “We have a holistic vision of healthcare that translates into wellness for citizens. Mission Indradhanush has been expanded to cover 12 such diseases including 5 new vaccines. Fit India movement is a vital part of the fight against non-communicable diseases coming out of lifestyle issues. A very focused Safe Water Jal Jeevan Mission and comprehensive sanitation programme Swachh Bharat mission have been launched to support the Health mission that would reduce the disease burden on the poor.”
“Presently, in the PM Jan Arogya Yojana, there are more than 20,000 empanelled hospitals for Ayushman Bharat. We need more such hospitals to be empanelled in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities for poor people in these places to benefit from them. It is therefore proposed to propose sitting up hospitals in PPP mode," the Finance Minister added.
This year's Budget assumes tremendous significance as the Indian economy is facing multiple challenges such as a rise in inflation, unemployment, farmer distress, and a dip in GDP growth. The government has taken inputs from multiple stakeholders. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has also announced a series of reform measures in the last few months to give a boost to the economy.
In the Economic Survey 2019-20 tabled on the floor of the Parliament on Friday, the GDP growth for the next fiscal year has been pegged at 6-6.5 per cent. This is much more than the IMF estimate. The Union Finance Minister will present the Union Budget at 11 am on Saturday.