As the Coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on human health, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Thursday proposed an allocation of Tk32,731 crore for health services and health education sector, up Tk 3,484 crore than last year’s allocation.
The minister came up with the proposal while unveiling the national budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year in Parliament.With the new allocation, the health sector got more than seven percent of the total budget for the first time.
The allocation for the sector was close to 5 percent and less than one percent of the GDP for the last seven financial years.
As the government has given the priority to the protection of lives and livelihoods, it has given 7.4 percent of the total budget and 1.3 percent of the GDP for the health sector and thus tackle the pandemic and its fallouts.
In his budget speech, the minister said, “Giving an utmost priority to the programmes and steps taken by the government to address the Covid-19 pandemic, I propose to allocate Tk. 32,731 crore for the Health and Family Welfare sector in the next fiscal year, which was Tk. 29,245 crore in FY2020-2021.”
Like last year, he said, they have made a slight deviation from the traditional budget for the sake of effectively combatting the Covid-19 pandemic and resolutely overcoming its economic impact by giving priority to protection of lives and livelihoods.
Kamal said he has made a structural change in the priority of the government in the next year’s budget.“The health sector has been given the highest priority to address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and necessary allocations have been made in the next budget,” Kamal said.
During the pandemic, the minister said, they will continue adopting strategies to protect public health and the lives of people.
Besides, he said, they will lay utmost emphasis on implementing various activities in the health and family welfare sector in line with the medium- and long-term plans.