Challenges in Agriculture

The union government’s announcement of the Rs.17,000 crore rehabilitation package for farmers in the 31 suicide-prone districts of AP, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra focuses attention on the plight of agricultural sector in a fast-growing economy. Emphasis on irrigation, interest waiver, watershed development, seed replacement and dairy industry is welcome.

National Health Insurance – Will it Work?

The UPA government has made a commitment to introduce a national health insurance scheme for the benefit of poor families and promised to raise public spending on health to at least 2-3% of GDP over the next five years with focus on preventive and primary health-care.

Public Health Expenditure and Inequity

That economic prosperity and the state of health of a community go together is a self-evident proposition. As global prosperity improved after the Second World War, there has been significant improvement in health indicators. According to the Economist (Dec 20, 2001), between 1960 and 1995, life expectancy in poor countries rose by a remarkable 22 years. Infant mortality, which was around 150 per 1000 live births, fell to 40 on an average.