Sign In
  • ENG

Union Budget 2014-15: Higher tobacco tax, women's safety, malnutrition, new AIIMS and senior citizens

Written by Nirmalya Dutta |Updated : July 10, 2014 1:19 PM IST

Arun JetleyIt's that time of the year again. So what does Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have up his sleeve? After all, the BJP government rode to power promising change. And what will it mean for the health sector?

Here are some of the key components from the budget:

  • Cigarettes, gutka, pan masala and tobacco to get more expensive as excise hiked from 60 to 70% for the cigarettes.
  • Similarly the excise on aerated drinks containing sugar was increased by 10%
  • Allocation of Rs.3,600 crore for drinking water schemes
  • To print currency notes with Braille signs
  • Allocation of Rs.150 crore to improve safety of women in larger cities
  • Allocation of Rs.100 crore for 'Beti bachao, beti padao' programme
  • Total sanitation in every household by 2019
  • Four new AIIMS, followed by AIIMS in each institutes (budget allocated Rs 500 cr)
  • National Program to fight malnutrition
  • Centre to provide help to state Food and Drug Associations
  • Toilets and drinking water in all girls' schools
  • New drug testing labs
  • Small savings for education and marriage of girls

To improve the plight of People with Disabilities including better aids, the Fin Min promised universal inclusive design, to include people of all abilities. He also promised to print currency notes in Braille to help the visually impaired.

Also Read

More News

Adding that it's a shame the way the girl child is treated in India, he proposed a new plan called the Beti Bachao Beti Padao Yojna to improve the plight of the girl child which would raise awareness and focus on campaigns to sensitise people to the plights of the girl child and women. This means that courses on gender mainstreaming would be included in school curricula. A fund of Rs 14389 crore has been allocated for this purpose. He also said that special treatment would be given to senior citizens and unutilised funds lying in PF accounts and post offices of older citizens or the deceased would be taken care of.

Some of the most common demands include:

Increase GDP allocation on healthcare Despite being a democracy, we've a healthcare system which has most resources with the private sector which makes good healthcare services almost unaffordable to the lower income groups. This would also include spending more on public health services and making health insurance available to all.

Give infrastructure status to the healthcare industry Infrastructure status would allow the health sector to receive more help from the government. It would allow people to set up more hospitals and labs, hire more doctors and even allow FDI in healthcare.

Make it cheaper to import medical equipment Currently, the taxes are very high and the government should do more for hospitals and others to import top quality medical equipment that's not made in our country.

Make medical visas easier to get India continues to have some top-notch medical institutions that provide quality medical care and this attracts medical tourists from across the world, including developed countries like the US and the UK. It would therefore be great for the economy if the procedure to get medical visas would be made easier as that would boost the economy.

Other demands include improving medical education and health insurance affordability.

You may also like to read:

For more articles on the Union Budget 2014-15, check out our Union Budget 2014-15 section. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates! For daily free health tips, sign up for our newsletter. And to join discussions on health topics of your choice, visit our forum.

Total Wellness is now just a click away.

Follow us on