Budget 2018 has evoked a plethora of reactions in international media. Noted global media houses covered India’s Budget 2018 extensively and discussed how the Modi government will fulfill promises made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. BBC termed Modi government’s flagship National Health Protection Scheme as “ambitious”. It said the scheme is “thought to be one of the largest such schemes in the world” and will be liked by the rural voters. The BBC also said that billions of dollars have been allocated for health, education, social security and rural infrastructure. However, it raised concern over the private healthcare system in the country and pointed out that there is no clarity over the source of the funds for the scheme.
The New York Times also reported about the healthcare scheme in detail. It said the scheme will surely be popular in the country as most people have no health insurance. It also talked about the popular aspect of the Budget 2018. “Although India’s overall economy is growing, Mr. Modi and his governing Bharatiya Janata Party have been trying to find ways to court the population left behind,” The New York Times said.
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Another major daily in the US, Washington Post hailed the health care scheme, saying it has the potential to transform the country’s “dilapidated” government-funded health-care structure. It also compared India’s spending on health with that of China and the US, while quoting Brookings India on life expectancy data of India, China and the US.
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The Global Times in China said India’s Budget 2018 focused on agriculture, infrastructure and healthcare.It published a report by Chinese news agency Xinhua which quoted India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as saying, “This is the world’s largest government-funded health program.”
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Jaitley presented Narendra Modi government’s Union Budget 2018 on February 1. From the first-of-its-kind healthcare initiative, housing for all, education, agriculture, farmers to senior citizen, budget 2018 has addressed a few key issues pertaining to common man or aam aadmi. Budget 2018 is also the last full Union Budget ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha Polls.