50% Indian feels Union Budget should have allocated more to healthcare: Survey


The Union Budget was presented on 1 February, 2023 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. a survey by LocalCircles has found that 39% citizen on whom the survey was conducted were not happy with the much celebrated tax exemption and deductions. 

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has strived to boost growth and help create jobs with a 33% increase in infrastructure spending to INR 10 trillion, which would amount to 3.3% of gross domestic product (GDP). Striving to cut down the fiscal deficit to 5.9% in 2023-24 from 6.4% for the current fiscal year, the budget has slashed subsidies on food, fertiliser and petroleum by 28% to INR 3.75 trillion. However, one of the casualties has been the rural employment guarantee scheme (NREGA) for which the allocation has come down from INR 894 billion in the current fiscal to INR 600 billion, the lowest in five years.

The survey saw that 41% citizens rated the budget good or excellent while 28% rated it average. Further 49% citizens surveyed expressed optimism that the budget will “create new infrastructure”; 33% felt it will have positive impact on household spending and livelihood/employment. 

More than one third respondents are not happy with healthcare, education, infrastructure, environment allocations. 

49% expressed optimism that the Union Budget 2023 will “create new infrastructure”; 33% felt it will boost household spending; 33% also banked hope that it will create new employment and livelihood; 21% are optimistic that it will spur investment; 14% are hopeful of it driving other benefits not listed. However, 14% did not believe that there would be any benefits. 

Finally, 50% of the surveyed people felt healthcare allocations were not adequate, especially in light of the post Covid situation; 39% are not happy that the tax exemption and deductions weren’t increased; 35% feel the allocation for safeguarding environment, especially for the fight against air pollution aren’t enough; 22% feel not enough is being done on the education front. 

Overall, respondents in the LocalCircles survey felt healthcare and education could have definitely done with more allocation and attention as it has an impact on India’s growth and ability to create jobs and become a hub of manufacturing and services. As the survey shows, 49% citizens are continuing to bank on the Government to “create new infrastructure” via this budget hoping that it will spur growth and employment; 33% feel the direct tax cuts announced will likely boost household spending, especially by the upper middle class and upper class who are likely to benefit the most; A hope the government too is banking on as evident in the 90 minutes speech of the finance minister.


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Updated: 03 Feb 2023, 08:02 AM IST

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