Presenting the Union Budget 2021-22 in Parliament Monday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allotted Rs 35,000 crore for coronavirus vaccines in the country as part of the newly launched Aaatmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana.
“A new centrally sponsored scheme PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana will be launched with an outlay of about 64,180 crores over 6 years,” Finance Minister Sitharaman said. Of this total amount, Sitharman announced that Rs 35,000 crore will be spent on the Covid-19 vaccine alone. She further announced that she was committed to spending more if needed.
In her opening remarks, the Finance Minister noted that the budget was prepared in unprecedented times. “The preparation of this Budget was undertaken in circumstances like never before, in view of calamities that have affected a country or a region within a country. But what we have endured with COVID-19 to 2020 is Sui generis,” she said.
Sitharaman announced that the country’s health budget has been hiked by 138 per cent since last year, keeping the coronavirus pandemic in mind, and is currently at Rs 2,23,846 crore.