"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."