The prime minister of India Narendra Modi has termed the union budget of 2017-18 as people friendly, farmer friendly, business and investment friendly, youth friendly and poor friendly and has emphasised that the Health assurance policy AYUSH would directly benefit about fifty crore people of the country from the middle class to those living at the lowest ebb of the society.
Hailing this newly introduced health assurance scheme of his government and terming it as first initiative in the whole world benefitting 500 million people, prime minister Modi said that any person suffering from illness particularly the critical illness would be able to receive free treatment/ surgery etc worth five lakh rupees free of cost, every year.
He further said that under the Ujjwala scheme lakhs of poor and economically deprived people, particularly those living under poverty line would get free gas connections and lakhs of houses in the rural areas would be provided free electricity. He said the government would not charge a single paisa tax in Rs one lakh treatment amount of a patient and also on the premium of Rs fifty thousand.
The new Shramik” labourer would get the EPF contribution to the tune of 12% from the government’s side. About 24 new medical colleges cum hospitals would be constructed in various parts of the country to provide free treatment to the poor. However, no mention has been made on employment front and non relief to the salaried government and private sector employees on annual tax exemption. The government will provide 8% annual interest on the deposit of Rs 15 lakhs.
The former finance minister of India P Chidamram however termed the budget at mere JUMLA and said that peoples’ expectations have been fully belied on all counts especially on job generation front, health sector, slashing of funds on majority of important schemes for the welfare of the poor, tax front and farm sector.
About 700 districts of the country are being fully developed with infrastructural development and road connectivity as per the provisions made in the budget added the prime minister.