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The post-Covid priority: Budget needs to ramp up spending on health and education -S Mahendra Dev

-The Indian Express Budget needs to ramp up spending on health and education. Pandemic has enhanced inequalities, shown up absence of safety nets. India is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and social sector development is important in reaching them. Progress in this sector has intrinsic (for its own sake) and instrumental (for higher growth) value. It is needed even to build a $5 trillion economy faster. Inequalities...

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Decoding the dip in public expenditure -Avani Kapur and Sharad Pandey

-Hindustan Times Despite enhanced commitments across spheres, the government has spent less this year than it did last year Typically, when a crisis hits, the expectation is that the Centre — which has more revenue-raising abilities than states — will take the lead in preparing a fiscal road map, loosen its purse strings and raise expenditure significantly. The Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented in its scale and impact. But this is also when...

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Economic policy needs to address those who have seen the greatest distress during lockdown -Sonalde Desai, Neerad Deshmukh and Santanu Pramanik

-The Indian Express The urban poor is still finding it difficult to return to work. Targeting Social Safety Nets towards them is necessary as the economy struggles to recover. While COVID-19 continues its assault on human lives, the Indian economy, after the devastation in the wake of the lockdown, is showing signs of recovering. Data from a variety of sources, such as exports and car sales, as well as data from NCAER’s...

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India needs an urban replica of MGNREGA -Nitya Chutani

-Livemint.com As a part of the relief measures, while the PDS system could reach a vast majority of people both in rural and urban areas, the system has failed to identify the affected informally employed labour force in largely urban areas. This makes a case for introducing an urban replica of MGNREGA With laudable measures like the increased allocation in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and the Pradhan Mantri...

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Centre expands Social Safety Net programme -Elizabeth Roche

-Livemint.com * MGNREGS guarantees 100 days of work in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members volunteer for unskilled manual work * In 2019-20, which was considered a normal monsoon year without rural distress, 2.65 billion person days were created NEW DELHI: The Union government on Sunday injected an extra ₹40,000 crore into the national rural jobs programme, extending a helping hand to millions of rural poor, as well as...

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