Mixed reviews are emerging after Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley announced Union Budget 2018, including those from politics, industry leaders, experts.
The Budget 2018, is a push for Roti-Kapada-Kissan and the primary focus is emphasized on the healthcare sector, agriculture. Exclusive benefits are announced to the farmers and the under-privileged people of the country.
Here is the reaction of the people across different sections of the society on the current budget.
On the National Health Protection Scheme of the Government, the finance minister announced: "An amount of Rs 5,00,000 per year per family for 100 million (10 crore) families will be allocated". Jaitley added that "the scheme to have approximately 500 million (50 crore) beneficiaries".
Reacting to the National Health Protection Scheme, Bhavik Narsana, Partner, Khaitan & Co said, "The national health scheme of the government is a much needed and great initiative. This is a big positive for the healthcare and pharma industry."
Vivek Srivastava, CEO and Co-Founder of HealthCare at home said "The National Health Protection Scheme announced by the government will be the world's largest health insurance support covering ~50 crore people i.e. 40% of the Indian population. By providing Rs 5 lakh per year to poor families for secondary and tertiary care related hospitalization needs, the government has indeed taken concrete steps in reducing India's health burden".
Swadeep Srivastava, Founder and Managing Partner of India Virtual Hospital, said "We need over 6 lakh+ hospital beds to cater to our population and this shortage is more in tier II and III cities. Hence, the move to have one medical college per three constituencies and 1.5 lakh health and wellness is a welcome one. Coupled with National Medical Commission Bill 0f 2017, this can be instrumental in bridging the need gap for healthcare infrastructure and resources for the rural Indian population"
After Finance Minister announced allocation for education, Sardar Taranjit Singh, MD of JIS Group, said that "I welcome heartily the government 's plan and focus to move classroom blackboards to digital boards. I also welcome the emphasis to be given to training of untrained teachers and allocation of 1 lakh crore for education research. It's also very commendable about the plans if coming up with 24 new Medical Colleges. Also commendable is the plan of at least one medical college every three constituencies."
Milind Kothari, Managing Partner, BDO India said "True to the commitment, Smart Cities programme is progressing well, and with continued budgetary support, these cities will greatly benefit from a new ecosystem of infrastructure leveraged on the thrust of using technology as the backbone. Modernisation of Railway infrastructure, like Smart Cities, has been a compelling need and the new commitment by the FM would firmly take the Railway in this direction." on funds allocation to smart cities.
"The Finance Minister has, in his speech, laid out a powerful report card by referring to the commitments made by him with regard to the farm and consumer sectors in the earlier years and not only giving the status of the outcome of various measures but also announcing various measures to promote this key sector.
"He has reiterated the Government's promise of doubling the income of the farmers by 2022 and also announced various additional allocation and funds in this sector. With 150% increase in MSP for crops, support to organic farming, doubling the expenditure allocation to INR 1,400 crores for food processing sector, state of the art facilities to 42 food parks, liberalisation of agricultural exports, allocation of INR 10, 000 crore to fisheries, animal husbandries and related infrastructure, this budget is in true sense a Roti-Kapada and Kisaan budget.
"Perhaps for the first time, there is a special attention to the ancillary sector including infrastructure which will help the overall consumer and farm sector. The focus of these measures to ensure that the farm produce reach the ultimate consumers from the farms with maximum returns for farmers, introduction of facilities and technology leading to reduction in wastage in the sector, a boost to the fishery, aquaculture and animal husbandry sectors." said Anil Talreja, Partner Deloitte India.
Monish Panda, Founder, Monish Panda & Associates (law firm), said "The Finance Minster in his budget speech has again confirmed that the Government does not recognise crypto currency and will take all steps to stop usage and circulation of such crypto currency. This clearly indicates that the Government will now either come out with a legislative mechanism or make suitable amendment in existing legislation to ensure that dealing and trading in crypto currency is made illegal and to penalise entities and individuals who are involved in trading and circulation of crypto currency. We will have to wait and watch as to what will be final framework of such legislation, if such legislation is introduced."
"Reforms in the education sector that encourage more and more private institutions to expand or modernize to give our students a more global perspective as part of their learning process. Given that the Education Sector has seen 16% growth in the recent years, it is bound to be one of the major sectors in focus for the Budget'18".Said Lina Ashar, Founder, Kangaroo Kids Education
Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the Union Cabinet Minister of Food Processing, thanked the Finance Minister and the Prime Minister for increasing farmers income by giving 1.5 times cost incurred to farmers as MSP.