Finance Commission gives Rs 2,131-cr health grants to Punjab

Finance Commission gives Rs 2,131-cr health grants to Punjab

The 15th Finance Commission has recommended a sum of Rs 2,130.71 crore for Punjab as health grants with rural and urban components from 2021-22 to 2025-26, the government has confirmed. - File photo

Nitin Jain

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 28

The 15th Finance Commission has recommended a sum of Rs 2,130.71 crore for Punjab as health grants with rural and urban components from 2021-22 to 2025-26, the government has confirmed.

The five-year financial allocation included Rs 808.72 crore rural component and Rs 1,321.99 crore urban component, the officials have said.

The allocation would be used on urban health and wellness centres besides support for diagnostic infrastructure to the primary healthcare facilities in the urban areas.

In rural areas, the allocated funds will be used for support of diagnostic infrastructure to the primary healthcare facilities, block-level public health units, building-less sub-centres, PHCs, CHCs, and conversion of rural PHCs and sub-centres into health and wellness centres.

The approved year-wise break-up of the allocation, a copy of which is available with The Tribune, showed that the state would get Rs 401.21 crore each in the current and next fiscal, Rs 421.25 crore in 2023-24, Rs 442.52 crore in 2024-25, and Rs 464.52 crore in 2025-26.

The rural-urban break-up of the year-wise allocation revealed that Rs 248.96 crore each will be spent in the urban areas during the current and next fiscal, while the rural areas will get Rs 152.25 crore during 2021-22 and 2022-23.

In 2023-24, the urban areas will get Rs 261.4 crore and rural areas Rs 159.85 crore.

The financial year 2024-25 will provide Rs 274.47 crore for urban and Rs 168.05 crore to the rural areas.

In 2025-26, the urban health sector will get Rs 288.2 crore, while the rural areas will be provided Rs 176.32 crore.

Earlier, the 15th Finance Commission had recommended grant-in-aid amounting to Rs 43,996 crore to Punjab for the next five years 2021to 2026, with a maximum of Rs 25,968 crore under the head of revenue deficit grants.

Also, the state’s individual share in the taxes devolved by the Centre has gone up from 1.577 per cent in 2015-20 to 1.807 per cent for next five years. The state had got a share of 1.788 per cent for the current fiscal 2020-21.

The recommendations were made in a report of the 15th Finance Commission, headed by NK Singh, tabled in Parliament.

According to the head-wise distribution of grants-in-aid to Punjab for next five fiscals, Rs 25,968 crore will be revenue deficit grant, Rs 10,305 crore grants to Local Bodies, Rs 2,764 crore to Urban Local Bodies, Rs 5,410 crore to Panchayati Raj Institutions, Rs 2,131 crore to the health sector, Rs 2,736 crore disaster relief fund (including capacity building), Rs 1,545 crore state specific grants, and Rs 3442 crore was allocated under sector specific grants.

However, no grants-in-aid were given for upgrade of administration standards, special problems/specific needs, relief expenditure, debt relief, both principal and interest amount.

In the past two decades, the Central Finance Commission had recommended Rs 10,287 crore grants-in-aid to the agrarian state for 2020-21, Rs 8,160.07 crore for Rs 2015-20, Rs 5,540.24 crore for 2010-15, Rs 5,203.49 crore for 2005-10, and Rs 1,112.16 crore for 2000-05.

“Not all the recommendations were accepted by the Centre, while the state-specific grants of Rs 1,545 crore and sector-specific grants amounting to Rs 3,442 crore have been kept pending for due consideration by the Union Finance Ministry,” a senior government functionary told The Tribune here on Tuesday.

Recommendations

  • The Finance Commission has recommended that the states should increase spending on health to more than 8 per cent of their budget by 2022.
  •  Primary healthcare expenditure should be two-third of the total health expenditure by 2022.
  •  Centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) in health should be flexible enough to allow states to adapt and innovate.
  • Focus of CSS in health should be shifted from inputs to outcome. All India Medical and Health Service should be established.

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