Budget 2020-21: Health industry seeks tax concession on imported items

Healthwire Bureau

New Delhi, January 31: To stay competitive and make India as a manufacturing hub for pharmaceuticals products, domestic healthcare industry sought tax concessions on imported medical devices and medicines in addition to assistance for local manufacturing units in this year’s budget.

The industry is of the view that post GST regime their businesses suffered a lot.

“At present, India imports nearly 80 percent of all medical devices and domestic manufacturing took more of a hit post GST as the imports became cheaper by 11 percent. As the imports went up by 24 percent in the previous fiscal, the government needs to take urgent measures to boost local manufacturing if it wants India to become a manufacturing hub. For starters, tariff protection will boost the domestic industry and encourage competition, which will drive price stability. Secondly, we should increase the regulations to cover most medical devices and ensure responsible manufacturing and protect the interests of patients. Preferential pricing will promote quality in public procurement, and ensure that the patients who access the public healthcare system get the quality of treatment that they deserve,” Nikhilesh Tiwari, Founder  & CEO, ColMed said.

“With environmental degradation and climate change among major concerns of our time, the need to promote sustainable farming – both crop farming and animal farming – must be high on government’s agenda. As an organization working in the field of sustainable poultry farming, we expect the government to lay down a clear policy for sustainable farming and animal rearing. These include healthy diets for poultry, medication free rearing, safe disposal and safe processing. The government must incentivize farmers to adopt the use of safe and healthy rearing practices that lead to a more sustainable approach to poultry production. The government must also encourage organizations working to devise sustainable farming solutions to animal farmers. Falling consumption on a national level has emerged as a serious concern for different sectors as well as the economy as a whole. Poultry industry is no different. In fact, reports have shown that poultry farmers are struggling to cope with rising feed costs and falling consumer demand. Some poultry farmers have also been demanding duty free imports of maize (an important poultry feed) to help them tide over the high feed costs. We hope the government will pay due attention to the sector in the upcoming budget,” saidDr. Bhushan Bhavsar, Managing Director, Vetphage Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd.

“Narendra Modi government’s ambitious National Health Policy 2017 remains an unfulfilled promise if the budget allocation for the health sector during the year is any indication. In India, approximately 18 crore people suffer from mental health illness – depression, stress, suicide.  However, the amount of funds that the government has allocated for mental issues is only Rs 50 crore in its National Mental Health Program. We expect a balanced doctor-patient ratio as the treatment gap makes it difficult for the government to manage the mental health of the working-age population, which is a key social and economic issues as they are integral to the functioning of the economy,” said Dr. Prakriti Poddar Expert in Mental Health, Director Poddar Wellness Ltd, Managing Trustee of Poddar Foundation.

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