The global economic slowdown may pinch the poor in India. The Planning Commission is redrawing its projections for the 12th five year plan (2012-17) in wake of current global economic situation and could end up scaling down money for welfare schemes.
According to documents accessed by HT, the plan panel had initially decided to seek an increase of about 50% in allocations for the plan considering that various ministries had sought over Rs 6,00,000 crore as additional resources. But, with the implications of the economic meltdown worldwide visible now in India, the plan is likely to seek about 33% increase in allocations as compared to 11th plan (2007-12).
This means that the UPA may offer less than Rs 1,1662 or US $ 30 per capita per annum for health, which is lower than what neighbours Bhutan and Sri Lanka spend. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had described the 12th five year plan as health and education plan, assuring higher allocation at the National Development Council meeting in 2011.
But since April 2012, the economy has witnessed a downward swing and the plan panel’s own projection of allocating Rs 1,662 per capita per annum as compared with present Rs 1,108 ($20) for health does not seem feasible.
"Considering poor revenue generation achieving the proposed roll out for the health sector may be difficult," says minutes of a recent plan panel meet held to discuss resource allocation for 12th plan.
Plan panel officials also said the economic slow-down can increase the time-period for implementing UPA government's universal health scheme aimed at providing basic health facilities to all citizens.