According to research from European non profit Health and Environment Alliance, if India removes its fuel subsidies it can fund almost 24 % of the healthcare needs of the citizens. The study also goes on to say that the savings can help produce 24,000 doctors at Rs 1.7 Crores a doctors (Estimate as per AIIMS report on the subject) and distribute solar lanterns at 375 million households at $22.5 per lantern.(I am sure we can make them cheaper in India itself)
Here is a graphical look at what good we can do in healthcare with the subsidy money.
(Infographic Source: HEAL)
The current fuel subsidies for India are at $16.9 Billion as per the budget numbers in 2013-2014. But these fossil fuels says the report also create pollution which costs the Indian citizens around $ 140.7 Billion in medical bills and loss in productivity. A good example is Air Pollution.
13 of the top 20 most polluted cities are in India. The report also suggests the improvements in Indian households using LPG as opposed to Bio Gas, but again raises concerns on the use of Kerosene. We looked up HEAL and their website states that they are based in Belgium. There are more than 70 health and environment groups associated with them. Gurgaon based Public Health Foundation of India worked with HEAL for the parts of the report focused on India.
It is ironic in a way as subsidies are paid for by tax payer money. And it is these subsidies that are causing health concerns to us again costing us money. You can read the full report here. Do let us know your thoughts and how you think we can come out of this cycle.