Union Budget 2022: COVID-19 Pandemic Accentuated Mental Health Problems; National Tele Mental Health Program To Be Launched Soon: Sitharaman

The Finance Minister further said, India’s economic growth in the current year has been projected to be 9.2 per cent which is the highest among all large economies so far.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2022 amid the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2022 amid the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is also the sixth Budget session held since the outbreak of the pandemic in January 2020. The key elements of the Union Budget 2022 that are being intensely watched include individual income tax, Provident Fund, pensions and spending on healthcare, which has been one of the most active sectors due to growing medical claims.

Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday announced the launch of a National Tele Mental Health program, saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated mental health problems in people of all ages. “The pandemic has accentuated mental health problems in people of all ages. To better access to quality mental health counselling and care services, a National Tele Mental Health program will be launched. This will include a network of 23 tele mental health centres of excellence with Nimhans being the nodal centre and IIIT Bangalore providing technology support,” said Sitharaman.

She added, “This will include a network of 23 tele mental health centres of excellence with Nimhans being the nodal centre and IIIT Bangalore providing technical support.” The Union Minister said that the Budget pursues to lay the foundation to direct the economy over ‘Amrit Kaal’ of next 25 years, from India at 75 to India at 100 and continuing to build on the vision of Budget. “We strive to provide necessary ecosystem for middle class. This Budget hopes to lay the foundation for Amrit Kal from India at 75 to India at 100,” Ms Sitharaman said.

“Our government is committed towards Atma Nirbhar Bharat in armed forces. 68% of the capital procurement budget will be earmarked for the domestic industry for 2022-23 up from 58% in 2021-22. Rs 19,500 crore marked for PLI for manufacturing of high-efficiency module for polysilicon. Financial support will be provided to farmers wanting to take up Agro-Forestry, said FM Sitharaman.

FM Sitharaman further said, “5-7% biomass pellets will be co-fired in thermal power plants resulting in carbon dioxide savings of 38 mmt annually. The outlay for capital expenditure increased by 35.4% from the previous year to 7.50 lakh crore in 2022-23. Sovereign Green Bonds to be issued in public sector projects to reduce carbon footprint initiatives in the economy.”

The overall recovery and rebound of the economy are showing India’s strong flexibility, said the finance minister while presenting the Budget.

FM Sitharaman started her presentation of Budget 2022 by expressing empathy with those who were affected by the adverse health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Before the presentation started a Union Cabinet meeting was held that gave approval to the Budget 2022-23. The Finance Minister further said India’s economic growth in the current year has been projected to be 9.2 per cent which is the highest among all large economies so far.

In an effort to go green, the Union Budget for 2022-2023 was presented in a paperless format. Sitharaman read out the Budget at the Parliament through a tab, instead of using the traditional ‘bahi khata’. Before presenting the Budget, Sitharaman met President Ram Nath Kovind. She was accompanied by Ministers of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary, Bhagwat Karad and other officials from the Ministry.

The first part of the Union Budget Session of Parliament will be held from January 31 to February 11 and the second part of the Budget Session will take place from March 14 to April 8.

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