State slashes public health funding by Rs1,300cr

  • Faisal Malik
  • Updated: Mar 19, 2016 01:28 IST


Battling paucity of funds and deficit, the state government has reduced the spending on medical and public health sector by Rs3,500 crore, including Rs2,200 crore meant for various nutrition schemes run by the state government under various departments.

Finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has allocated Rs9,051 crore for medical and public health sector, which covers the expenditure of all health schemes and government-run hospitals. The amount is Rs1,308 crore less than what was allocated by the government last year (Rs10,360 crore).

In case of nutrition schemes, the finance minister has allocated Rs1,340 crore, a drop from the whopping Rs2,225 crore allocated last year, which comes to around 60% cut in the budget. Last year, Rs3,566 crore was allocated for all nutrition schemes run by the state government under various departments.

The International Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR) in October last year had suggested the state increase its spending on health sector by Rs7,400 crore to meet the challenges in the key sector and rising cost of medical care.

Reacting to the budget, former public health minister Suresh Shetty said they used to get a large chunk of money from the central government for various programmes. However, the spending on education sector has been increased significantly. The total amount allocated for the sector this year is Rs45,889 crore, which is more than Rs2,703 crore allocated by the government last year.

Meanwhile, Mungantiwar has allocated Rs25 crore for a scheme, Majhi Kanya Bhagyashree, which will cater to girl children from below poverty line (BPL) families. The scheme will provide Rs1 lakh after the girl completes 18 years of age.

Homeless freedom fighters or their living spouses who don’t have house in their name will be given an aid of Rs10 lakh. The finance minister has declared a home loan scheme with relief in interest for freedom fighters. Mungantiwar also declared to adopt centrally sponsored scheme — Shelter for all -2022 — with necessary modifications.

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