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Economic Survey 2022 | Social service spending increases to 8.6% of GDP; health gains, education flat

Education allocation by both the Centre and states remained static at 3.1 percent of the GDP, while health expenditure went up to 2.1 percent from 1.8 percent in the year-ago period

January 31, 2022 / 04:31 PM IST
University campus | Representative image

University campus | Representative image

The government spending on the social services sector, including health and education, went up in the pandemic year, with the Centre and state governments together earmarking 8.6 percent of GDP for it in the current fiscal, the Economic Survey 2021-22 released on January 31 said.

This spending was 8.3 percent in FY21 and 6.7 percent in the year before.

In the social service sector, the allocation for education by both the Centre and states remained static at 3.1 percent of the GDP, while health expenditure increased to 2.1 percent in 2021-22 from 1.8 percent in the year-ago period.

The “other” segment, which includes sanitation, labour welfare, housing and urban development, saw an outlay of 3.3 percent of the GDP, less than 3.4 percent in 2020-21.

“Although, the pandemic has affected almost all social services, yet the health sector was the worst hit. Expenditure on health sector increased from Rs. 2.73 lakh crore in 2019-20 (pre-COVID-19) to Rs 4.72 lakh crore in 2021-22 (BE), an increase of nearly 73 percent,” the survey which was tabled in Parliament said.

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Overall, the three segments of the social service— education, health and others—saw an allocation of Rs19.06 lakh crore in FY22 as against Rs 16.34 lakh crore in the previous fiscal.

As outlined in the FY22 Budget estimates, while health expenses were at Rs 4.72 lakh crore, education were Rs 6.97 lakh crore and others together saw an allocation of Rs 7.37 lakh crores in FY22.

These figures put together the allocations made by the Centre, the state and union territory governments.

India will grow between 8 and 8.5 percent in 2022-23, the Economic Survey said even as it warned against rising oil prices, surging inflation and interest rates hikes in the US. It also identified employment, education and agriculture as the three key focus areas in the medium term.

Also read: Economic Survey 2022: WPI continues to surge, India needs to be wary of imported inflation

 Covid impact on learning

The survey said the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the education system, affecting lakhs of schools and colleges across India.

But is “difficult to gauge the real-time impact of repeated lockdowns on the education sector because the latest available comprehensive official data dates back to 2019-20. This provides the longer time pre-COVID trends but does not tell us how the trend may have been impacted by COVID-19 induced restrictions," it added.

Economic Survey 2022: Here Are The Key Takeaways

“During initial COVID-19 restrictions, as a precautionary measure to protect the students from COVID-19, schools and colleges were closed across India…This posed a new challenge for the Government in terms of continuity of education,” the survey added.



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Prashant K Nanda is an Associate Editor at Moneycontrol .
first published: Jan 31, 2022 04:31 pm
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