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Sunday, April 11, 2021

In Delhi’s budget: Covid shot free at govt hospitals

The budget session starts on Monday. While the outcome budget, which is like an account of work done and work that remains, will be presented on Monday, the budget for 2021-22 is expected to be presented on Tuesday.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: March 8, 2021 3:33:50 am
delhi budget, Covid vaccine, Covid shot free, free coronavirus vaccine, delhi union budget, delhi budget 2021, delhi health budget spending, delhi news, indian expressA medical worker inoculates an elderly woman with a Covid-19 vaccine at Sanjeevan Hospital in New Delhi. (Express Photo: Abhinav Saha)

Dedicated allocation for free Covid-19 vaccines for everyone, including those who are under the ages of 60 and do not have serious co-morbid conditions, is among the main features of Delhi’s health budget this year, sources in the Delhi government said.

“There have been apprehensions that in the next phase of vaccinations after senior citizens and those with co-morbid conditions, the government could charge around Rs 150 from people. This is wrong. The upcoming budget will make a separate allocation for free vaccinations for all Delhiites. It’s in our best interest to vaccinate as many people as fast as possible and funds will not be an impediment to that,” a Delhi government official said.

The government, which is looking at a budget of over Rs 65,000 crore, higher than what it was last year despite low tax collections this financial year owing to the pandemic, is also looking at “holistic changes” in industry and business norms to increase the per capita income of residents.

Delhi’s per capita income in 2019-20 was estimated to be Rs 3,89,143 — three times the national average.

Officials said the new changes being thought of are aimed at increasing the per capita income of Delhiites to match that of residents in Singapore in 2047, when India will have been an independent nation for 100 years.

“Economic reforms, holistic changes in trade and business, ease of doing business, and promoting businesses that promote jobs and growth is what government policies will be geared towards. The per capita income in Delhi is already among the highest in the country. Our aim is to bring in policy interventions that promote more, but clean, industry in the city. We are creating hi-tech, dedicated spaces for businesses and industry, and are also doing away with unnecessary red tape,” a senior official said.

The budget session starts on Monday. While the outcome budget, which is like an account of work done and work that remains, will be presented on Monday, the budget for 2021-22 is expected to be presented on Tuesday.

New Sainik School, focus on Yoga

Officials said the budget is also likely to have a provision to open a Sainik School in the city. At present, there are 33 Sainik Schools in India. While none of them are in Delhi, there are two in the vicinity of NCR.

The government is also planning an extensive outreach programme to popularise Yoga across the city by creating more, and affordable, facilities for residents. Sources said Yoga teachers and practitioners could be asked to work in conjunction with mohalla clinics and area dispensaries.

Infrastructure and affordable spaces could be made available by the government to popularise Yoga among people to ensure a “healthier and happier population”.

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