Rajesh aggarwal, MD Insecticides India Ltd- The government has rightly acknowledged the need for investment in agro-technology. Rs 100 crore for research and development in agriculture is a positive step that we hope will pave way for taking our agricultural sector to a new paradigm. A bulk of our population is engaged k-in agriculture but the modern technological advancements have not reached many of our farmers. We hope over the next few years, the reach of agriculture technology increases.
We hope this also includes focus in improving irrigation facilities to reduce our dependence on rainfall.
The most positive step is Rs. 5000 crores to address the need for scientific warehousing, to allow better storage of foodgrain. Lack of storage capabilities is the most glaring lacunae persisting in our agriculture sector. On many occasions, food rots in open storage centres, even as the prices are rising and millions are going hungry. A large amount of foodgrain and can be saved if storage facilities are worthwhile.
Dr Gaurav Thukral, Head Medical Services, Health Care at Home
It is commendable that the government plans to create AIIMS in every state, and the allocation of Rs 500 crores for setting up the same in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Vidharbha and Purvanchal is a welcome step. Also, by raising the excise duty on cigarettes from 11 percent to 72 percent the government has sent a out a clear signal that it can take tough decisions to discourage anything that degrades health of the common man. The move is significant given that smoking is the reason behind rising lifestyle diseases in the country. The increase in excise duty will certainly dissuade people, especially youngsters, from smoking. However, steps to make healthcare more accessible, improve quality care and reduce costs are completely missing in the budget. The government should have spelt out more initiatives to encourage private sector’s participation in healthcare industry, which is important to improve India’s healthcare scenario.