Pune: Jan-Arth Sankalpa, a group of experts that presented a shadow budget in the city last week, said the Centre should increase spending on welfare schemes, education and health care.
The experts said this can be done even by not disturbing the current allocation majorly in other sectors. “Tax-speculative trading, reversing the tax dole given to the big industry recently and re-imposing the erstwhile wealth tax can achieve this,” said Ajit Abhyankar, a member of Jan-Arth Sankalpa.
The group proposed that the healthcare expenditure in the upcoming Union Budget increase 40% to Rs88,000 crore, with a majority of the focus on the rural areas and providing medicines to government hospitals.
“A majority of the spends on health care are on outpatient department services and medicines. Only 3% of the people require hospitalization, so priorities need to be re-adjusted” said healthcare expert Anant Phadke.
The group also suggested that the Union government increase its spending on education by about 50% to about Rs1,43,000 crore. It said states must also follow suit and increase their allocations to both health and education. “Only then will the state of public education and infrastructure at public education institutes improve,” Sharad Javadekar of the Akhil Bharatiya Samajwadi Adhyapak Sabha said.
The members further urged the Centre to earmark at least Rs7,000 crore for walkways, bus tracks and cycle tracks. “The component of Metro rail/ MRT can be expanded to include mandatory walk, bus, cycle infrastructure improvements,” the experts said.-Times Of India