Wednesday, May 18, 2022


Centre announces loan guarantee scheme for health infrastructure

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday, June 28, 2021, announced a cover of Rs 50,000 crore to improve health infrastructure in Tier-2 and Tier 3 cities, and an additional allocation of Rs 23,220 crore with a primary focus on pediatric care.

The loan guarantee scheme will provide 75 per cent coverage for new projects and 50 per cent for those in expansion mode. Loans up to a maximum of Rs 100 crore will be given for up to three years at the interest rate of 7.95 per cent.

“Apart from the eight metro cities, the focus will be on health infrastructure in all other areas. If the focus is on aspirational districts then 65 per cent cover will be provided,” Sitaraman said.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the allocation of Rs 23,220 crore will be used to enhance human resource capabilities by funding for recruitment of medical and nursing students along with increasing the availability of ICU beds, oxygen supply at central, district and subdistrict level.

The additional allocation will also finance equipment, medicines, access to teleconsultation, ambulance services. In addition to child care, these funds will also be used to increase testing capacity and supportive diagnostics, and strengthen the capacity for surveillance and genome sequencing.

“This fund of Rs 23,200 crore will be spent in this financial year itself. The primary focus is on children but others will also benefit from it,” said Sitaraman.

Last year, the FM said an emergency health system project worth Rs 15,000 crore was brought in during 2020-21. She said that through this fund, there has been a 25-fold increase in COVID dedicated hospitals, a 7.5-fold increase in oxygen supported beds, a 42-fold increase in isolation beds, 45-fold increase in ICU beds. The allocation was used to set up 7,929 COVID health centres, 9,954 COVID care centres.

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