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Investment in health to be critical: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Investment in health to be critical: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
Investment in health is going to be absolutely critical, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Economy

Investment in health to be critical: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Investment in health is going to be absolutely critical, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Not just to make lives safer, she said its essential to make health and health-related expenditure more predictable for people and not to do it out of pocket.




Addressing the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) virtual Partnership Summit, Sitharaman emphasized higher healthcare spending and supporting the industries such as hospitality and aviation. “Support has to be extended to sectors that got disrupted badly and support, to which are now going to be centres of newer demand and newer engines of growth,” she said. “We need to fuel that engine and run that engine as fast as possible.”

According to the Q2 GDP data released last month, trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting, are still in the negative territory. The manufacturing sector has recovered in the September quarter from the 39.3 per cent contraction seen in the June quarter. Tarun Bajaj, Economic Affairs secretary, said he is hopeful of the Indian economy getting back on track and that in the next fiscal year, the size of the economy may cross the FY20 level by a slight margin. Bajaj said he expects improvement in economic activity and hopes the Indian economy to post a small, positive growth in December.

The Finance Minister, in regards to change in work style amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said the way in which jobs are created will go through a massive change, with “working from home” becoming a culture. And a new global research stated that increasing shift to working from home is expected to further increase dependency on robust technology, including reliable services, and to increase organizations’ need for customizable, modern IT solutions deployed at scale.


Also Read: Retail inflation for agricultural labourers eases to 6 pc in Nov; down to 5.86 pc for rural workers


Sitharaman said continued and justifiable anxiety that women’s participation in the workforce is not adequate, and needed to be looked at. “We will be a country where 60 per cent of population is going to be under 30 years of age, which is a blessing, and we have to provide them with the right kind of skills. Vocational training has to be given with a new perspective.”


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