Utmost priority to social infrastructure like education, health and social protection is given by the Government to engineer an inclusive and sustainable growth for India. This was stated in the Economic Survey 2017-18, tabled by the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley, in the Parliament today.
On the subject of “Social Infrastructure, Employment and Human Development”, bridging the gender gaps in education, skill development, employment, earnings and reducing social inequalities prevalent in the society have been the underlying goals of the development strategy to enhance human capabilities. The Survey notes that India is poised to grow as one of the leading knowledge economies where education, skill development and health will remain priorities for the Government.
The Survey adds that the government has been enhancing the expenditure on human capital along with adopting measures to improve the efficiency of expenditure by convergence of schemes. The expenditure on social services by the Centre and States as a proportion of GDP had remained in the range of 6 per cent during 2012-13 to 2014-15. Expenditure on Social services stands at 6.6 per cent in 2017-18 (BE).
As the way forward, the Economic Survey 2017-18 recommends that though macro-economic growth and efficient markets are essential, it is necessary to equally ensure that the benefits of growth are equitably accessible to all citizens to make growth broad-based. The Survey concludes that strengthening the policy and institutional eco-system supporting inclusive growth deserves to be a top policy priority.