Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Director of Caritas India: Investing in human resources is a prerequisite for industrial growth"Investing in human resources is a prerequisite for industrial growth" affirms Fr. Frederick D'Souza, director of Caritas India, active in social and development programs both in his country and abroad

He spoke about the positive and negative aspects of the Union's budget for 2017-2018, presented recently by the Minister of Economy. In particular stresses the need to "invest more among the disadvantaged tribal groups and classes, so as to promote equitable growth."
The priest reports that the new estimates for expenditure contain a "huge allocation for industrial growth with the aim of increasing jobs." But he believes, "the creation of jobs depends very much on the development of skills among unemployed youth." This is why the focus should be on human resources. The director of the social arm of the Catholic Church believes that it, "the 5% increase granted to the agricultural sector is not enough, given the high number of suicides among farmers, drought and water scarcity." "A robust growth in agriculture - he says - supplying the industrial sector and cannot be improved in a state of isolation."  

As for health care, he appreciates "the 9% increase for the National Health Mission", but notes that "the field of mental health and the tobacco control program will continue to receive the same amounts as the previous year. Instead the aim is to reach those who cannot afford the costs of medical care. "

The Union budget provides increased funding to the development of gender equality, especially for women and poor children [around 25.5 billion euro, ed.] At the same time, he notes, "there will be major cuts to programs that want to improve the conditions of women and ensure their safety such as the Nirbhaya Fund [created with the budget of 2013, named after the Delhi student raped on a bus by a group of assailants whho died after atrocious suffering in Singapore. Equal to 10miliardi rupees (138 million euro), each year, the fund is not spent - ed]. "

Regarding loans granted to the "Scheduled Castes" and "Scheduled Tribes", respectively, 2.44% and 1.49% of the total budget, Fr. D'Souza says they are not sufficient. "The disadvantaged castes and tribal groups - he concludes - as well as minorities, need more funding for education and skills development."

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