A Greater Sense of Urgency for Reforms
Business Today|February 07, 2021
The pandemic has brought a realisation that we need greater public health infrastructure so that we are ready for any calamity of this order in the future
RAJIV KUMAR

The government has been pushing big reforms even before the pandemic. The crisis has brought a greater sense of urgency for such measures.

The objective will clearly remain the same, that is, Ease of Doing Business and Ease of Living. These are the two principal components of the government’s agenda so that economic growth accelerates, investments improve and lives of people, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid, become better.

Because of the damage Covid-19 has done, we want to ensure that when the economy starts reviving, growth remains high on a sustainable basis. This is what the prime minister meant when he said that the crisis needs to be turned into an opportunity.

We want to now put in place enough changes quickly so that when 2021-22 arrives, investors find greater certainty, predictability and transparency, and have to deal with a lighter and much more rational regulatory burden than in the past.

Covid has also brought forth the importance of private sector investments to take the economy forward.

Focus on Health Sector

The pandemic has brought a realisation that we need greater public health infrastructure so that we are ready for any calamity of this order in the future.

We launched the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (Ayushman Bharat), which covers half the population, almost 500 million people, giving them access to hospitalisation and health cover up to ₹5 lakh so that they don’t slip back into poverty (when a medical emergency strikes them). This is a very big social security net. We also started mainstreaming traditional medicine. The role of Ayush has come out in a big way.

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