J P Nadda
India's Health Minister J.P. Nadda said there has been a 21 percent increase in budget allocation to health sector this year.Reuters

Health Minister JP Nadda said Tuesday that this year's budget has provided Rs 31,300 crore for the health sector, which is an increase of 21 percent from the last year's Rs 25,946 crore allocation.

"The budget has delivered the NDA government's commitment of providing universal health coverage and reaching out to the poor and vulnerable sections of society," the minister was quoted by the Economic Times as saying. 

The minister said in 2015-2016, more than 90 percent of the budget allocated was utilised. 

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while presenting the Budget 2016 on March 1, announced setting up 3,000 new generic drug stores, health insurance scheme of up to Rs one lakh per family and the launch of National Dialysis Programme to cut down the costs involved in renal dialysis process.

Nadda said under the National Health Mission, the budget allocation saw an increase of Rs 705 crore, while the medical education sector witnessed an increase in budget by Rs 1,263 crore. The health minister added further that the government will work with pharmaceutical companies to implement the Jan Aushadi scheme, under which 3,000 medical stores will be set up across the country. 

The scheme was launched in July 2015 to make low-priced, generic drugs available in rural areas.

The National Health policy (NHP) has been approved by the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare. The NHP was placed in public domain in January 2015, seeking feedback from stakeholders. The policy proposes to make health care a fundamental right similar to that of education, addressing the issues of maternal and infant mortality and increasing the public health expenditure to 2.5 percent of GDP, according to the Times of India