The Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2021-22 in Parliament today, which is the first budget of this new decade and also a digital one in the backdrop of unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.
Union Budget 2021-22 India
Laying a vision for AatmaNirbhar Bharat, she said this is an expression of 130 crore Indians who have full confidence in their capabilities and skills. She said that Budget proposals will further strengthen the Sankalp of Nation First, Doubling Farmer’s Income, Strong Infrastructure, Healthy India, Good Governance, Opportunities for youth, Education for All, Women Empowerment, and Inclusive Development among others. Additionally, also on the path to fast-implementation are the 13 promises of Budget 2015-16-which were to materialize during the AmrutMahotsav of 2022, on the 75th year of our Independence. They too resonate with this vision of AatmaNirbharta, she added.
The Budget proposals
for 2021-22 rest on 6 pillars.
- Health and Wellbeing
- Physical & Financial Capital, and Infrastructure
- Inclusive Development for Aspirational India
- Reinvigorating Human Capital
- Innovation and R&D
- Minimum Government and Maximum Governance
Health and Wellbeing
There is substantial increase in investment in Health Infrastructure and the Budget outlay for Health and Wellbeing is Rs 2,23,846 crore in BE 2021-22 as against this year’s BE of Rs 94,452 crore, an increase of 137 percentage.
The Finance Minister announced that a new centrally sponsored scheme, PM AatmaNirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana, will be launched with an outlay of about Rs 64, 180 crore over 6 years. This will develop capacities of primary, secondary, and tertiary care Health Systems, strengthen existing national institutions, and create new institutions, to cater to detection and cure of new and emerging diseases. This will be in addition to the National Health Mission. The main interventions under the scheme are:Support for 17,788 rural and 11,024 urban Health and Wellness Centers
Setting up integrated public health labs in all districts and 3382 block public health units in 11 states;
Establishing critical care hospital blocks in 602 districts and 12 central institutions;
Strengthening of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), its 5 regional branches and 20 metropolitan health surveillance units;
Expansion of the Integrated Health Information Portal to all States/UTs to connect all public health labs;
Operationalisation of 17 new Public Health Units and strengthening of 33 existing Public Health Units at Points of Entry, that is at 32 Airports, 11 Seaports and 7 land crossings;
Setting up of 15 Health Emergency Operation Centers and 2 mobile hospitals; and
Setting up of a national institution for One Health, a Regional Research Platform for WHO South East Asia Region, 9 Bio-Safety Level III laboratories and 4 regional National Institutes for Virology.
Provision of Rs
35,000 crore made for Covid-19 vaccine in BE 2021-22.
The Pneumococcal Vaccine, a Made in India product, presently
limited to only 5 states, will be rolled out across the country aimed at
averting 50,000 child deaths annually.
To strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach, and
outcome, Government will merge the Supplementary Nutrition Programme and the
PoshanAbhiyan and launch the Mission Poshan 2.0. Government will adopt an
intensified strategy to improve nutritional outcomes across 112 Aspirational
Universal Coverage of Water Supply and Swachch Bharat
The Finance Minister announced that the JalJeevan Mission (Urban), will be launched
for universal water supply in all 4,378 Urban Local Bodies with 2.86 crore
household tap connections, as well as liquid waste management in 500 AMRUT
cities. It will be implemented over 5 years, with an outlay of Rs. 2,87,000
crore. Moreover, the Urban Swachh Bharat
Mission will be implemented with a total financial allocation of Rs 1,41,678 crore over a period of 5 years
from 2021-2026. Also to tackle the burgeoning problem of air pollution,
government proposed to provide an amount of Rs. 2,217 crore for 42 urban
centres with a million-plus population in this budget. A voluntary vehicle
scrapping policy to phase out old and unfit vehicles was also announced.
Fitness tests have been proposed in automated fitness centres after 20 years in
case of personal vehicles, and after 15 years in case of commercial vehicles.
Physical and Financial Capital and Infrastructure
AatmaNirbhar Bharat-Production Linked Incentive Scheme. Finance
Minister said that for a USD 5 trillion economy, our manufacturing sector has
to grow in double digits on a sustained basis. Our manufacturing companies need
to become an integral part of global supply chains, possess core competence and
cutting-edge technology. To achieve all of the above, PLI schemes to create
manufacturing global champions for an AatmaNirbhar Bharat have been announced
for 13 sectors. For this, the government
has committed nearly Rs.1.97 lakh crore in the next 5 years starting FY
2021-22. This initiative will help bring scale and size in key sectors, create
and nurture global champions and provide jobs to our youth.
Similarly, to enable the textile industry to become globally
competitive, attract large investments and boost employment generation, a
scheme of Mega Investment Textiles Parks (MITRA) will be launched in addition
to the PLI scheme. This will create world class infrastructure with plug and
play facilities to enable create global champions in exports. 7 Textile Parks
will be established over 3 years.
The National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) which the Finance
Minister announced in December 2019 is the first-of-its-kind,
whole-of-government exercise ever undertaken. The NIP was launched with 6835
projects; the project pipeline has now expanded to 7,400 projects. Around 217
projects worth Rs 1.10 lakh crore under some key infrastructure Ministries have
Infrastructure financing - Development Financial Institution
Dwelling on the infrastructure sector, Smt Sitharaman said
that infrastructure needs long term debt financing. A professionally managed
Development Financial Institution is necessary to act as a provider, enabler
and catalyst for infrastructure financing. Accordingly, a Bill to set up a DFI
will be introduced. Government has provided a sum of Rs 20,000 crore to
capitalise this institution and the ambition is to have a lending portfolio of
at least Rs 5 lakh crore for this DFI in three years time.
Monetizing operating public infrastructure assets is a very
important financing option for new infrastructure construction. A “National
Monetization Pipeline” of potential Brownfield infrastructure assets will be
launched. An Asset Monetization
dashboard will also be created for tracking the progress and to provide
visibility to investors. Some important measures in the direction of
National Highways Authority of India and PGCIL each have
sponsored one InvIT that will attract international and domestic institutional
investors. Five operational roads with an estimated enterprise value of Rs
5,000 crore are being transferred to the NHAIInvIT. Similarily, transmission assets of a value of
Rs 7,000 crore will be transferred to the PGCIL InvIT.
Railways will monetize Dedicated Freight Corridor assets for
operations and maintenance, after commissioning.
The next lot of Airports will be monetised for operations
and management concession.
Other core infrastructure assets that will be rolled out under the Asset Monetization Programme are:
(i) NHAI Operational Toll Roads
(ii) Transmission Assets of PGCIL
(iii) Oil and Gas Pipelines of GAIL, IOCL and HPCL
(iv) AAI Airports in Tier II and III cities,
(v) Other Railway Infrastructure Assets
(vi) Warehousing Assets of CPSEs such as Central Warehousing Corporation and NAFED among others and
(vii) Sports Stadiums.
Finance Minister announced that more than 13,000 km length
of roads, at a cost of Rs 3.3 lakh crore, has already been awarded under the
Rs. 5.35 lakh crore Bharatmala Pariyojana project of which 3,800 kms have been
constructed. By March 2022, Government would be awarding another 8,500 kms and
complete an additional 11,000 kms of national highway corridors. To further
augment road infrastructure, more economic corridors are also being
planned. She also provided an enhanced
outlay of Rs. 1,18,101 lakh crore for Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,
of which Rs.1,08,230 crore is for capital, the highest ever.