India is in a strong position to withstand Covid challenges, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today as she presented the budget in parliament.
Presenting her fourth budget, she stressed, "We are in the midst of the Omicron wave... the speed of our vaccination campaign has helped greatly. I am confident that with 'Sabka Prayaas', we are in a strong position to withstand challenges."
"I express my empathy for those who had to bear adverse health and economic situation," Ms Sitharaman added.
India has been witnessing a huge surge in Covid cases since late December, primarily driven by the new variant that led to fresh curbs worldwide.
Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and other big cities saw a big jump in cases in January. The national capital and the financial capital have now got the cases under control but Bengaluru is still registering more than 10,000 cases every day.
Today, Ms Sithraman expressed optimism about the country's economic growth. "India's growth has been 9.2 per cent - the highest among all large economies."
She also spoke about mental health issues amid the pandemic. "The pandemic has accentuated mental health problems in people of all ages. To better the access to quality mental health counseling and care services, a National Tele Mental Health program will be launched," she added.
India today recorded 1,67,059 new Covid cases, 20 per cent lower than yesterday (2.09 lakh).