Healthcare sector is likely to receive the highest priority in the upcoming Union Budget 2022-23 on account of continuing challenges posed by COVID-19 and the imperative need for scaling up public health infrastructure, an Assocham survey said on Thursday.
The industry chamber noted that 47 per cent of the respondents in its survey pointed towards Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman according maximum attention to healthcare in the Budget.
Besides, MSMEs, energy and infrastructure and technology were also on priority list as per the survey done among 400 respondents across 40 cities from different sectors, it stated.
While the government’s proactive measures and the frontline workers’ tireless efforts have helped tide over the uncertain situation, the pandemic also brought forth certain gaps in the public healthcare system, Assocham said.
Besides, nearly 40 per cent of the Assocham survey respondents said the Finance Minister should reduce the income tax among other measures to boost private demand and consumption.
About 31 per cent said Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to the poor households could be a demand driver at the bottom of the pyramid.
Asked what policy-makers can do to scale up the pace of job creation, majority of the respondents wanted the government to focus on infrastructure and the housing sector.
Further incentives to the companies to hire more people would also help, they said.
Moreover, 28 per cent of the respondents stated that the Budget should include measures to encourage access to the latest technologies at a lower cost for MSMEs.