“Countries have realised that lack of investment in public health system in a pandemic can be debilitating to national economy” say’s Kerala’s Finance minister Thomas Isaac. Kerala will invest in training of health workers and will export the trained health workers to capitalize on the remittances says the Finance Minister Thomas Isaac. Pandemic has made countries realize that lack of investment in the health sector can be disastrous to the national economy. “There will be demand of Kerala paramedics and nurses all over globe,” says Isaac in a telephonic interview.
The state has been largely benefited from the vast population of expatriates sending money back home to their families which contributes to economic and social gains such as India’s highest literacy rate and highest sex ratio the state accounted for fifth. Of approximately $80 billion sent home by expatriates.
The state government decided to invest in training health workers originated as the World Bank estimated a sharp decline in remittances globally faces due to the pandemic; though FM Isaac does not see an immediate drop because the people living abroad are returning in India with all their savings.
According to FM Isaac, “When remittances fall, consumption will be the biggest casualty” whereas RBI said that remittances by Indians employed overseas and other private transfers rose 14.8% from a year ago to $20.6 billion during the period. Isaac believes that construction activities will contract sharply and real estate is going to be damped shortly. Kerala has the highest per capita consumption expenditure in the country.
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Kerala has unveiled various programs to rebuild its post-pandemic economy. These programs include –
- Improving technological infrastructure
- Offering loans and interest concessions to companies looking to relocate to the state
- The government will borrow 500 billion rupees ($6.7 billion) for improving its post-pandemic economy through its unit Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board
- The state is also planning to increase its health expenditure
Thomas Isaac did not specify the amount of investment in the training of the health workers. WHO study shows that number of institutes offering nursing and midwifery training has been doubled in 2005-2016.
“There is a total collapse of the aggregate demand, and therefore common sense tells you that you borrow and spend, so that demand picks up. That’s the way out of recession, he said. ”