Tamil Nadu

India must focus more on public health than defence: Kamal Haasan

MNM founder Kamal Haasan. File   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

After holding Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for the plight of “economic migrants” throughout India due to the hardship faced during the Covid-19 lockdown, Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan on Monday said that a post Covid-19 India should focus more on public health and sanitation sector than the defence sector.

In a video released by the party, Mr. Haasan said that he wants to find workable solutions to water sharing issues, ethnic hate, migrants, women’s safety, public health issues and treatment of waste.

“The Defence budget is increasing year-on-year compared to health budget. We have spent 2% of our GDP - ₹4,71,378 crore – on defence budget while India’s health budget is just 1%. United States allocates 8% of its GDP towards Public Health and 3.1% for Defence budget. True patriotism is ensuring good health for people of India,” said Mr. Haasan.

Ensuring adequate funding for public health and medical services is essential to rehabilitate the country, he emphasised.

With “economic migrants” returning to their natives due to economic issues surrounding Covid-19, the State governments should create jobs within the respective States, he said.

“After the green revolution, we need a green revolution-plus. We need a revolution in agriculture and all industries allied to agriculture. In India, we need to use science and technology to revitalise agricultural lands that have not been used for agriculture and increase production on war footing. We also need to bring youngsters back into agriculture,” said Mr. Haasan.

Mr. Haasan pointed out that 80% of Indian workforce belonged to the unorganised sector and said that they should be brought into the formal sector and streamlined.

“We have ignored the strength of unorganised workers who have built the fifth largest economy in the world. We need to streamline them. This will also increase the income tax revenues,” he said.

He further said that vast income inequality should be addressed as 77% of the India’s wealth is owner by 10% of the people. “The inequality must be addressed, not by taking wealth away from the rich, but by implementing economic policies in favour of the poor. Our leaders should address the issues of the poor. Relief measures are only to address the mistakes,” said Mr. Haasan.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 9:46:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/india-must-focus-more-on-public-health-than-defence-kamal-haasan/article31387732.ece

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