Oxfam India Urges Centre to Increase Budgetary Allocation for Health and Education Sectors

 - Sakshi Post

New Delhi: Oxfam India has expressed disappointment over the budget allocation for the health sector in the Union Budget 2023-24. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and AYUSH have received an allocation of Rs 92,802.5 crore in the Union budget, an increase by 13.2 percent compared to the revised Budget estimates for 2022-23. 

It said the Union Budget could have made a difference to the growing inequality in the country while adding the key social sector spending like health and education continued to remain abysmally low in the budget. 

According to Oxfam India, the Union Government spending on health is now only a meagre 2.06 per cent of the total Union Budget which is less than half percent (0.35 per cent) of India’s GDP. It said the spending on education sector has seen an increase of 13 per cent from FY 2022-23, however, it is only 0.41 per cent of India’s GDP.
“After the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union Finance Minister had a historic opportunity to reset our economy to address the obscene inequality being witnessed in the country. Sadly, this has not happened. We urge the Union Government to change the track and immediately enhance the budgetary allocation of the health sector to 2.5 percent of GDP and also enhance the budgetary allocation for education to the global benchmark of 6 percent of GDP,” said Amitabh Behar, CEO, Oxfam India.

Behar said the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Program (MGNREGA), which protected the vulnerable households  during COVID-19 pandemic through employment opportunities, has seen a cut in budgetary allocation. MGNREGA received only INR 60,000 crores for FY 2023-24, a 30 percent decrease from FY 2022-23, he said. 

Also Read: Union Budget 2023: Major Highlights of Amrit Kaal Budget

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