Interim Budget 2024-25: Immunisation initiatives and women empowerment take centre stage

01 February 2024 | News

Encouraging cervical cancer vaccination for girls of 9 to 14 years

The Indian economy has witnessed profound positive transformation in the last ten years, stated Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance, while presenting the Interim Budget 2024-25 earlier today.

Focusing on the healthcare aspect, the Minister said that the government will encourage vaccination for girls in age group of 9 to 14 years for prevention of cervical cancer. 

Various schemes for maternal and child care will be brought under one comprehensive programme for synergy in implementation. Upgradation of anganwadi centres under “Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0” will be expedited for improved nutrition delivery, early childhood care and development.

The newly designed U-WIN platform for managing immunisation and intensified efforts of Mission Indradhanush will be rolled out expeditiously throughout the country. Healthcare cover under Ayushman Bharat scheme will be extended to all ASHA workers, Anganwadi Workers and Helpers. 

"A corpus of Rs one lakh crore will be established with fifty-year interest free loan. The corpus will provide long-term financing or refinancing with long tenors and low or nil interest rates. This will encourage the private sector to scale up research and innovation significantly in sunrise domains. We need to have programmes that combine the powers of our youth and technology", said the Minister.

Emphasising on women empowerment, the Minister stated that thirty crore Mudra Yojana loans have been given to women entrepreneurs. "Female enrolment in higher education has gone up by twenty-eight per cent in ten years. In STEM courses, girls and women constitute forty-three per cent of enrolment - one of the highest in the world. All these measures are getting reflected in the increasing participation of women in workforce", she added.

With focus on Yuva Shakti and marching towards the goal of Viksit Bharat by 2047, Nirmala Sitharaman proposed setting up of more medical colleges. The new medical colleges will be set up by utilising the existing hospital infrastructure under various departments.  A committee will be set up for this purpose to examine the issues and make relevant recommendations.

Interim Budget also proposes a new scheme of bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry which will provide environment friendly alternatives such as biodegradable polymers, bio-plastics, bio-pharmaceuticals and bio-agri-inputs.


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