Amid increasing deficit, NRHM gets little boost
Malnutrition got a renewed focus in the budget with allocation for child nutrition scheme increased by 58 % and Asha worker in each village to be designed as nodal person for initiative on malnutrition. HT reports.india Updated: Mar 17, 2012 01:37 IST
With the fiscal deficit spiralling out of control, health outlay for 2012-13 went up marginally to Rs 30,477 crore, from Rs 26,750 in 2011-12.The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) funding got a modest boost, going up to Rs 20,822 crore in 2012-13 from Rs 18,115 crore in 2011-12.
The government also announced the launch of the National Urban Health Mission this year to provide primary healthcare needs to the urban poor.
The exemption of excise duty on specified life-saving drugs and raw materials for low-cost medical devices will offer some relief to the healthcare sector, which remained largely unaffected by Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s budgetary proposals.
Apart from giving six specified life-saving drugs and vaccines concessional customs duty of 5% with full exemption from excise duty/CVD (counter vailing duty), Mukherjee gave low-cost medical device production a boost by lowering customs duty on components and raw materials for medical disposables and instruments to 2.5% with the concessional CVD of 6%.
Specified raw materials for manufacturing stents and valves used to treat heart disease will get full exemption from excise duty and counter vailing duty.
Preventive health check-ups get a deduction of up to R5,000 within the existing deduction limit for health insurance.
The finance minister also announced that AIIMS-like institutions will be set up in six cities — Patna, Raipur, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Jodhpur and Rishikesh — and seven medical colleges will be upgraded by 2014 under the Swasthya Suraksha Yojana.