There are many ways to look at the Indian economy as well as the Budget 2023 and its scopes.
Our national economy and the insurance market are both tempting to insurers overseas. Hence, there have been suggestions to increase the FDI cap to 100 per cent. However, this may not materialise for several reasons.
With over 60 insurers between life and general insurance and a large number of them being joint ventures, there is an acute shortage of local partners to collaborate with foreign players.But there is another way of looking at health insurance. Increased health penetration will possibly reduce the burden on the Government towards providing medical care.
Of course, there are issues. Medical treatment costs have increased manifold. Moreover, the existing limits of Rs 25,000 for individuals, and Rs 50,000 for senior citizens over 60, are inadequate.
The SBI Research said that the Government should focus on agriculture and rural economy and schemes such as the Kisan Credit Card. The budget 2023-24 can bring in more incentive for the agriculture sector schemes. This is also the last full-fledged Budget of the Modi Government 2.0 and hence much is expected from the populism front and people’s welfare oriented schemes.
A healthier Indian population would undoubtedly deliver superior output, reduce longer-term medical expenditure, and hence add values to the annual GDP. Thus, the Union Budget 2023-24 should help determine the future trajectory of healthcare improvement.
In a broad sense, the Indian industry has historically, over the last two decades, grown 2 to 3 times the GDP.
Thus, experts say a reformist and proactive regulator and digitisation and easier customer access will continue to ensure that the industry continues to grow strongly over the next five years.
In the changing dynamics the education sector will need special and focused attention.
One suggestion is schools/institutes could be provided tax benefits or incentives for expanding their counselling services through counseling centres and career guidance services.
The ‘Manodarpan’ scheme of the Ministry of Education could get additional attention.
This is an initiative by the Ministry of Education and aims to provide psycho social support for mental health and well-being of students during the COVID outbreak and beyond.
It has Online Education, Webinars with Experts, Fitness Sessions and also Peer to Peer Support.Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman could give due attention to this scheme. This is also being seen as the need to cater to as a growing challenge in our changing times. In September 2022, it was found through an official study that a majority of school students’ mental health declined in secondary school in India.
Stakeholders from the technology and medical sector expect to see a boost in research and development, developing k-12 students holistically. The Budget is naturally expected to focus on scholarships, faculty development, building more institutes of eminence, skill development and job creation.
Manufacturing sector will also deserve a special focus in a year when Indian population figures would be expectedly surpass China’s.