Coronavirus check: 5% of states budget for healthcare; triple on education

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Published: March 19, 2020 12:01:26 PM

With the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country, public healthcare has come into focus and has also brought the issue of government expenditure under scrutiny.

Coronavirus outbreak, Coronavirus in haryana, Coronavirus in gurgaon, COVID-19, coronavirus cases in NCR, latest updates on coronavirus(Representational image: IE)

Education gets a clear priority over health in the country as is evident from the last budgets of states across India. With the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country, public healthcare has come into focus and has also brought the issue of government expenditure under scrutiny. However, states only spend one-third of their education expenditure on healthcare; while education gets a 15 per cent chunk of the total state expenditure, about only 5 per cent is spent on health. 

However, some states are outliers too. For example, in 2017-18, Assam, Kerala and Chhattisgarh spent more than the national average on both sectors. On the other hand, Haryana and Punjab spent lower than the national average on both counts, The Indian Express reported. National capital Delhi also makes a refreshing departure where the government spent 11.6 per cent of its money on health. This is more than double of the national average. Delhi also spent more on the education front with 24.3 per cent earmarked for education, a whoping 60 per cent more than the national average.

On the centre level, expenditure on health is 1.6 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, according to the budget estimate for 2019-20, the Economic Survey 2020 said. The same for education stands at almost double, at 3.1 per cent. The UNDP’s Human Development Index pours some more light on the matter. According to it, India ranks 129 out of the 189 countries taken into consideration. The Human Development Index ranks countries on health, education and income.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus has reached 160 cases in India and has sent markets to a frenzy. Sensex crashed 2,100 points to fall below 27,000. The markets across the globe have also reacted sharply to the outbreak of coronavirus. With the rise in the number of infected cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to address the nation at 8 PM today. 

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