Finance Minister said that the government will be making additional investments to prepare India for future pandemics.
Detailing the measures for easing economic hardships triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday announced steps taken under MGNREGA, health and education, business during COVID-19, de-criminalisation of Companies Act, ease of doing business, public sector enterprise-related matters and resources related to state governments.
Speaking about initiatives taken under health reforms, Finance Minister announced that Centre will increase public health expenditure to deal with the pandemic.
She also said that the government will be making additional investments to prepare India for future pandemics.
"The government will build 'Infectious Diseases Hospital Blocks' in all districts," Sitharaman said, adding that investments will be made to ramp up health and wellness centres in rural and urban areas.
Moreover, integrated public health labs will be set up in all districts and block levels.
Finance Minister on May 15 outlined the fifth tranche of the contours of India’s Rs 20 lakh crore fiscal stimulus announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
So far, the steps announced by the government have focussed on MSMEs, PSU banks, agriculture, the welfare of the poor and structural reforms in eight sectors, including coal, minerals, airports.
On May 15, Sitharaman announced Rs 1 lakh crore for a farm infrastructure fund and a Rs 10,000 crore scheme for micro food enterprises. Moreover, she proposed amendments to the Essential Commodities Act to enable better pricing for farmers.
The nationwide lockdown enforced on March 25 has brought most economic activities in the country to a standstill.