Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that inclusive growth is high on the priority of the government and it would take adequate measures to ensure social security for all especially for the vulnerable section of society.
"One of the major priorities of the present government is to make an extensive social welfare system which will focus primarily on better education system and effective healthcare especially for the children, women and senior citizens of the country," je said at the third pre-budget consultative meeting with the representatives of different social sector groups here.
Jaitley said that as the allocation of resources to the social sector by the government is increasing with time, the need of the hour is to bring substantial changes in social sector through better policies and their timely implementation.
The major suggestions by the social sector representatives include increasing the allocation to social sector schemes in the next budget and and a mechanism be established to monitor proper implementation of all such schemes.
Other suggestions include more focus on healthcare for the workers especially those working in mining sector. It was also suggested that vacancies of doctors, nurses and teachers must be filled so that these public services remain unaffected.
"Various suggestions came about increasing allocation on education and healthcare sectors in the upcoming General Budget 2017-18. It was also suggested that all the tobacco products should be highly taxed primarily because of health concerns," the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
The representatives of various social sector union groups who attended the meeting included Amitabh Behar of National Foundation of India, Dipa Sinha of Right to Food Campaign, Manish Sabharwal of TeamLease, Subhas Singh of National Confederation of Dalit Organisations, Ambarish Rai of Right to Education Forum, Ajay Jha of Public Advocacy Initiatives for Rights and Values in India (PAIRVI), Thomas Chandy of Save the Children, Yamini Aiyar of Centre for Policy Research, Rukmini Banerjee of Pratham, Mathew Cherian of Helpage, Nandini Verma of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Bhavana Mukhopadhyay of Voluntary Health Association of India, V.K. Madhavan of Wateraid, Paul Divakar of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, Mithun Raj of Mines Minerals and people, Sonali Khan of Breakthrough, Neha Buch of Pravah, Sandeep Chachra of Actionaid, Subrat Das of Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability, Bulu Sareen of World Vision India, among others.
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