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Published on 1/02/2021 12:41:14 PM | Source: Reuters

Expert Views: India unveils budget in wake of COVID-19 slump, proposes doubling healthcare spending

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 Unveiling an annual budget on Monday aimed at reviving an economy that plunged into deepest recorded slump amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed doubling healthcare spending to 2.2 trillion Indian rupees ($30.20 billion).

The government will launch a new federal health scheme with an outlay of around 641 billion Indian rupees ($8.80 billion) over the next six years, she told parliament kicking off her budget speech.

India, which has the world's second highest coronavirus caseload after the United States, and currently spends about 1% of gross domestic product on health, among the lowest for any major economy.

Here are some reactions from Indian businesses, economists and analysts:

SUJAN HAJRA, CHIEF ECONOMIST, ANAND RATHI SECURITIES, MUMBAI

"The indications are that the government is going to do more to promote growth rather than maintaining fiscal discipline. This is a welcome move as it will have a positive impact on growth. Also, we are seeing a lot of measures on conditions of doing business which was required. The intent for reforms is also strong."

 

(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Compiled by Uttaresh.V)