Shri Anurag Thakur holds Pre-Budget Consultation with representatives from Health, Education and Rural Development Sectors

Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs ,Shri Anurag Thakur held 10th and final Pre-Budget Consultation meeting with the leading representatives from Health, Education and Rural Development Sectors here today in connection with the forthcoming General Budget 2020-21.

The main areas of discussion by the representatives in the aforesaid meeting was related to improving efficiency in delivery of health services; devising innovative ways to reach primary health care facilities for marginalised sections; improving learning outcomes at primary level while also making secondary and higher level education accessible and affordable; reforms related to pension and social protections especially for the weaker sections; focus of Government on public investment in social sector; gender equality with bottom’s up methodology; ways to boost economic and social infrastructure of rural sector and ways to eradicate unemployment and poverty through development of agriculture and allied sector as well as non-farm sector.

Along with the Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs ,Shri Anurag Thakur the said aforesaid meeting was attended by Shri Rajeev Kumar, Finance Secretary; Shri Atanu Chakraborty, Secretary, DEA; Smt. Preeti Sudan, Secretary, Deptt. of Health & Family Welfare; Shri Amit Khare, Secretary (Addl. Charge), Department of School Education and Literacy; Shri Amarjeet Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development; Shri Balram Bhargava, Secretary, DHR & DF, ICMR ,Shri V.K. Paul, Member, NITI Aayog; Shri Pramod Chandra Mody, Chairman, CBDT; Dr K.V. Subramanian, CEA, and other senior officials of the Ministry of Finance.

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Among the many suggestions given by representatives of Health, Education and Rural Development Sectors were benefits of child budgeting; a dedicated National Fund for protection of children; eradication of child labour; collecting gender disaggregated data by a National mission; policy to encourage healthy food habits via measures like higher taxes on sin products; broadening, expanding and strengthening PDS; land titles to women in view of increasing feminisation of agriculture; changes in general procurement guidelines to include disabled-friendly technology; waiver of tax on assisted technology for disabled persons; better compliance of Right to Education and more financial allocation for secondary level schools, especially to support girl child and widening family healthcare support; augmenting pre-conception, antenatal and postnatal nutrition; employment generation with skill matching for youth in urban areas; focused skill development training for Adivasi and Dalit women; attracting more talent to aspirational districts with provision of tax holiday and a more effective monitoring of funds at Centre-State level.

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The major participants in the aforesaid meeting included Shri Abhinav Prakash, CSR Initiatives, Rashrtiya Sewa Bharati; Shri Ambrish Rai, National Convenor, Right to Education Forum; Shri Vijay Thadani, Past Chairman, CII Education Council; Smt. Ankita Upreti, Board Member, SEWA Bharat; Shri Anshu Tiwari, Senior Manager, Prayas; Shri Ashok Bharati, Chairman, NACDOR; Shri Adikanda Singh, National Co-ordinator, Dalit Arthik Adhikar Andolan, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights; Ms Bhavna B. Mukhopadhyay, Chief Executive, Voluntary Health Association of India; Smt. Bidisha Pillai, CEO, Save the Children; Smt Dipa Sinha, Member Secretariat, Right to Food Campaign; Shri Dipendra Manocha, Managing Trustee, Saksham; Shri Hari Menon, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Smt. Hemalatha R., Director, ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Department of Health Research; Shri Chandrakant Lakhariya, National Professional Officer (Health Care, Access and Protection), WHO India; Shri Madan Diwan, Social Economist; Shri Rohit Prasad, COO, Help Age India, Shri Naresh Trehan, Executive Director, Public Health CII Centre Office; Shri Preeti Mahara, Director, Policy Research & Advocacy, CRY-Child Rights and You; Shri Samir Mathur, CEO, Bachpan Bachao Andolan; Smt. Shobha Mishra Ghosh, Assistant Secretary General – Health & Higher Education, FICCI; Mr Terry Durnnian, Chief Education Section, UNICEF; Shri S.M. Mehta, CEO, The Hans Foundation; Shri Yogendra Malik, National Secretary, National Medicos Organisation and Smt. Dipali Sharma, Action Aid Association among others.