On February 29, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Union Budget for the year 2016-17. Last year’s Budget was seen as lack-lustre by many since the ruling party came to power on the promise of major reforms, and the announcement fell short of expectations. But it was argued then that the government did not have enough time to come out with comprehensive reforms since they were voted in only in 2014.
Will 2016 be the blockbuster Budget which everyone has been expecting from the Modi government? Will the government further liberalise the economy to unlock the country’s growth potential? Will there be efforts made towards controlling costs and reducing taxes? Will the government increase social sector spending?
We will know the answers by Monday afternoon. Meanwhile, we asked citizens cutting across demographics and professions as to what they expect from the government. Some of them belong to sections which are usually ignored in the media discourse on the Budget. Here’s the wish list of a health researcher in Kerala.
Name: CU Thresia
Occupation: Senior research fellow, JNU. Research on Kerala’s health sector
What she wants
Budgetary allocation for healthcare (as compared to the GDP) should increase. If the government's funding decreases, then it will affect the quality of services.
Health is beyond medicine. It is several other aspects of people's lives as well. A major part of the allocation goes towards medical expenses and salaries. A part of it should also be used towards supportive programmes and connected social sectors like employment, education, sanitary measures, nutrition and a democratic environment to live in.
Scheduled castes and Scheduled tribes are the groups that need to be focused on the most.