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Congress attacks govt over healthcare budget

Congress on Friday attacked government over reported move to cut of 20 per cent in healthcare budget and the falling value of rupee, saying it marks “another U-turn’ on promises made by Prime Minister Narendra modi.

“A major and regrettable decision has been taken by the government of India almost in stealth and surreptitiously to reduce health budget by 20 percent. BJP’s manifesto had earlier talked of over-arching health insurance. Modi ji had talked about a national health mission worth Rs 1.6 trillion,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters.

“I fail to understand whether there is complete contradiction between the Office of the Prime Minister and that of the Finance Minister or they think that the country is gullible and can’t see through it,” he said. Singhvi noted that India’s spending on health is already low – only one percent of its total budget unlike China and US which spend 3 and 3.8 percent, respectively. “Now this budget has further been slashed by Rs 6000 crore,” the Congress spokesperson said, adding the decision is not in the interest of the country and people at large.

Targeting Modi, Singhvi said “it was claimed that a budget of Rs 1.6 trillion will be earmarked for healthcare. While allocating Rs 1.6 trillion is a far cry, they have slashed the budget further.” Questioning “whether the BJP said lies only in its manifesto”, he said, “Is it another U-turn of the Modi government on which we had to release a booklet? Has the time come for us to release another booklet on U-turns?” 
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