People needed immediate budget relief, not promises of economic growth in the next 25 years

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Production related incentive programs as claimed would create 60 lakh new jobs in the next 5 years but this is too little. It is only a small project under Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

Unemployment in rural areas cannot be effectively addressed by simply setting up a proposed fund to finance agriculture and rural start-ups.

Nor can the worst conditions of urban unemployment be effectively addressed without a rapid economic recovery of industries and the urban market, on which uncertainties weigh heavily.

On the health side, the vaccination campaign has greatly helped the country to cope with the current wave of Omicron. However, we must be prepared for current and future health crises. We needed significant investments in health infrastructure, medicines, doctors and health personnel to make their physical availability possible.

In relation to physical availability, the budget announced an open platform for the “National Digital Health Ecosystem” to be rolled out in the next fiscal year. It would consist of digital registers of health providers and health facilities, a single health identity and universal access to health facilities.

Such a system will have its own benefit, but it will never be able to increase the number of health care providers and health facilities where the country badly needed a substantial increase in public spending.

As for the national telemental health program, it would also not work effectively in areas where people do not have physical access even to health personnel, pharmacies or even health centers.

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