Millennium Post

Centre may prescribe `6K-cr budget cut for Health Ministry

Nadda also noted that this was done by the Finance Ministry due to under-utilisation of funds by the
agencies concerned, including the states.

“But the Health Ministry is not at all affected. No project, flagship programme, no programmes of giving equipment, medicines, infrastructure are suffering because of this,” Nadda told reporters here.
“That is given to understand...You are using the word cut but I will use it as under-utilisation” he said when asked if he was confirming that the cut will be to the tune of Rs 6000 crore, which was 20 per cent of the total allocated budget.

Emphasising that he was laying stress on the word utilisation rather than cut, Nadda said that it was the states which had to spend the funds.

“Frankly, no flagship programme is getting affected because of the cuts. In the last quarter one certain level is marked. According to utilisation, assessment is done. What will be the expenditure in three months, that is also to be assessed.

“The Ministry of Finance does that. But there is no dearth of funds in any flagship and ongoing programmes which have been the areas of less or more concerns. We have adequate funding for all concerns,” the Minister said.

Asked whether the losses, if any, to the Ministry will be compensated, Nadda said that there were no losses and the sector will get funds that were required and the Health Ministry has to improve on the optimum utilisation of the funds.

“Although the word cut might have other impact, I would like to think in terms of that whether we are able to utilise it (funds) or not,” he said.

Former Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had earlier said that any move towards slashing the budgetary allocation for the health sector will be shocking. Nadda noted that
cleanliness has a direct relationship with well-being and said that his Ministry is working to integrate Swach Bharat -Swasth Bharat and will soon come out with new initatives.

“As far as our hospitals and all the immunisation programmes are concerned... Swach Bharat Swasth Bharat... our major problems, as per indicators, wherever there is backwardness, where there is lack of cleanliness, there is edload and patientload is more. “Therefore, cleanliness has got a direct relationship with health conditions. We are trying to link,” he told reporters.

He said that a couple of inter-ministerial meetings have already taken place and his Ministry is trying to connect more stakeholders to do the same. “For hospitals, how to keep them clean on a sustainable basis...In the campaign, we are sensitising. But how to make it sustainable at the same time...we are trying to work out on that methodology. Very soon we will be coming with new initiatives in that direction,” Nadda said.

He said that in places like Gorakhpur and others, where water-borne diseases have been reported, it has been found that it lacked cleanliness and information due to which the Ministry will be taking it up as a mission.
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