Union Budget 2022: Experts suggest more funds for education as Covid-19 increased cost

Union Budget 2022 session will begin on January 31. An expert pointed the difficulties faced by students and how Covid-19 impacted the Indian economy.

Union Budget 2022: Experts suggest more funds for education as Covid-19 increased cost Financial Budget 2022: Experts on India economy
Anu Parthiban | Jan 17, 2022 - 1:12 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Two years of Covid-19 pandemic has left the Indian economy fragile. Before the upcoming Budget session, experts are demanding that the government should allocate more funds for the education sector.

Union Budget 2022 session will be commencing on January 31, 2022, with President Ram Nath Kovind addressing both the houses, the PTI reported.

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Budget 2022: Experts suggestions for education sector

Ruchir Arora, Co-Founder and CEO, CollegeDekho said, “Quality education is a key driver for a nation’s economy and we want the upcoming budget to focus on improving the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER). With the current GER standing at 27.1%, there is a huge push that is needed to ensure that we reach the target of 50% GER by 2030 as mentioned in the National Education Policy 2020.”

“The cost of higher education has been on an upward trajectory across India for the past few years. Additionally, virtual classes in colleges have become a necessity due to COVID and the infrastructure required for it has increased the cost incurred by the students even further.”

Pointing to the unavailability of stable internet connection, access to laptops, Ruchir Arora said, “There needs to be a focus on ensuring that the required infrastructure is developed adequately and is available to everyone. However, on the bright side online education helps students gain admission across any college in the country which helps improve the GER,” the CEO added.

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'Indian Economy weak, uncertain'

Vidya Mahambare, Professor, Chairperson, UB-GL Centre for Banking Excellence, Great Lakes Institute of Management, said that the Indian economic recovery is “weak and uncertain”.

“Among the four drivers of demand – private consumption, private investment, government demand and exports, the first two cannot be expected to drive the overall recovery in near future. This is because job creation and income generation have been uneven across the sectors with concentrated gains in exports led sectors such as Information technology and hopefully this will continue.”

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She suggested that the “budget should focus on raising the capital spending in physical infrastructure and social sectors such as health, and education, which are also labour intensive, and to frontload it. This would create low-skilled jobs that were lost in sectors construction and would lead to an increase in demand for sectors such as cement, steel, and eventually crowd in private investment as capacity utilisation levels rise.”

“It is critical to create conditions for low-skilled jobs which may continue to suffer even after the current wave of Omicron is over if corporates continue with work from home policies,” she added.

Vidya Mahambare concluded her statement by saying, “Continued fiscal support at this juncture is important given that monetary policy tightening is also expected to start globally and in India, in the face of rising inflation. This however, need not result in a higher fiscal deficit to GDP ratio given tax buoyancy from the formal sector.”

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On 2022 pre-budget expectation, VP Singh, Professor of Economics and PGDM Program Director, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, said: “Given the unrelenting COVID -19 menace, the government needs to spend a lot”.

“Keeping in line with the fiscal glide path, the budget may run a deficit of 5.5%. The first advance estimates from NSO show that India’s nominal GDP for 2021-22 may be Rs232.15 lakh crore. This means that the government will be constrained to run a deficit of only Rs 12.76 lakh crores in comparison to Rs 15.06 lakh crore in 2020-21.”

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“Increasing the budget expenditure by 2% implies an expenditure of Rs 35.53 lakh crore. Within this, the government will continue allocating more funds to health infrastructure especially to large states like Uttar Pradesh. Given the geopolitical concerns, spending on defence must be increased. In order to increase the efficiency of capital invested, GATI-Shakti the National Master Plan will get significant boost. Given the gap in our savings and investment requirement, the government should prod the RBI to take further steps to full capital account convertibility.” he added.


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