Economic Survey 2022: Expenditure on social services up 9.8% to Rs 71.61 lakh cr in FY 2022

The combined expenditure of the Centre and the state governments on the social services sector increased to Rs 71.61 lakh crore during the financial year 2021-22, according to the Economic Survey.

At Rs 71.61 lakh crore, the expenditure is 9.8 percent higher than Rs 65.24 lakh crore (revised estimate) in the financial year 2020-21.

”Social services include, education, sports, art and culture, medical and public health, family welfare, water supply and sanitation, housing; urban development, the welfare of SCs, STs and OBCs, labor and labor welfare, social security and welfare, nutrition, relief on account of natural calamities, etc,” the Survey for the financial year ending March 31, 2022, said.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday presented the Economic Survey that details the state of the economy ahead of the government’s Budget for the fiscal year beginning April 1, 2022.

According to the Survey, the budget estimate (BE) on social services in 2021-22 by the general government (combined Centre and states) was at Rs 71.61 lakh crore, of which Rs 6.97 lakh crore was on education, Rs 4.72 lakh crore on health and Rs 7.37 lakh crore on other segments of the sector.

The expenditure on the social services sector in 2020-21 fiscal was at Rs 65.24 lakh crore, of which Rs 6.21 lakh crore was on education, Rs 3.50 lakh crore on health, and Rs 6.63 crore on others, as per the Survey.

”Although the pandemic has affected almost all social services, the health sector was the worst hit. Expenditure on the health sector increased from Rs 2.73 lakh crore in 2019-20 (pre-COVID-19) to Rs 4.72 lakh crore in 2021-22 (BE), an increase of nearly 73 percent. For the education sector, the increase during the same period was 20 percent,” it said.

On education, the survey said it is difficult to gauge the real-time impact of repeated lockdowns on the education sector because the latest available comprehensive official data dates back to 2019-20. This provides the longer time pre-COVID-19 trends but does not tell how the trend may have been impacted by COVID-19-induced restrictions.

During initial COVID-19 restrictions, as a precautionary measure to protect the students from COVID-19, schools and colleges were closed across India. This posed a new challenge for the government in terms of continuity of education, it said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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