Dr. Alok Roy, Chairman of Medica Superspecialty Hospital
365telugu.com,online news,january29,National:A new decade calls for newer thoughts and from the forthcoming Union Budget 2020, the Healthcare sector has a wide gamut of expectations.India has one of the lowest spending on healthcare if compared with global data. We know that India is aiming to increase the healthcare spending to 2.5% of the GDP by 2025, however so far it stands at 1% only. We hope to see some action around this in Budget 2020. Government needs to declare some sops to raise this percentage.
There is an overall slowdown in expansion plans of private healthcare players. The government has to increase its intent to collaborate with private sector, so that they understand the financial modus operandi of the private players better. Budget must pay attention to the financial viability of private healthcare by relooking at the pricing controls, reviewing the existing rates of the Government healthcare schemes, releasing the money stuck with CGHS, ECHS etc. which hugely affects the already hit liquidity balances of the existing players. Unless these are addressed in concrete terms, it will be difficult for new entrants to seamlessly operate in the current business scenario.
We also hope that the Budget will focus on home healthcare services. Other critical aspects to be addressed include good governance, a robust system to procure and supply medicines, devices as well as a connected health information system.
With the spiralling healthcare costs, the limit for tax benefit must be raised accordingly. Considering that the cost of treatment for life-threatening diseases is generally much higher, Government should try to work out a higher percentage of deduction which will go on to benefit the common man. Individuals should be exempted from the GST as they have covered themselves under insurance for their health protection. This will also bring down the cost of a policy, making health insurance more affordable.
Cost of medical equipment is another pain point, which requires support in the Budget, as this will make the medical devises & equipment, a part of Government’s ambitious programme of Made in India, which will accelerate growth in this sector. Critical healthcare equipment such as ventilators, wheelchairs, crutches, and medical equipment spare parts should be exempted from GST in Budget 2020. This will help make quality healthcare more accessible.
Innovative, tech-based, and affordable healthcare solutions are the need of the hour and our expectations from Budget also revolve around the same. We do hope that the Government promotes more healthcare startups which will digitize healthcare better, increase accessibility & affordability and give a boost to employment generation as well.
The market for healthcare start-ups and digital healthcare devices is robust. Government must support to promote domestic innovations and provide incentive to domestic device manufacturers. This will enable us to reduce our dependency on foreign imports. This will not only boost the Indian start up cluster but also make healthcare market more economic.
Let 2020 be a Year of Healthcare Innovation & Digitization.
Professor Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director, IIM Sambalpur
In a way the forthcoming Union Budget should earnestly take care of the slowing GDP growth by giving boost to the MSME sector that contributes 29% to India’s GDP. There is a need for radical change in policy orientation to lend a structural transformation to the ongoing economic slowdown. MSME sector needs urgent intervention now, as employment generation in India has dipped in the sector because of untimely implementation of GST, just when the country was trying to come to terms with demonetization. Small vendors are facing serious challenges in terms of compliance as they are not digitally equipped. Hence, it will be beneficial for these businesses if the Government declares a GST holiday for the MSME sector and additionally provides them with more technical help. This is one area, I strongly believe, this budget should take care of.
For the education sector, the Government should give boost to innovations and incubations. This can be done by giving lot of benefits to any institute that promotes these. They should also encourage more of research and experiential projects which can help in creation of knowledge than just classroom teaching. For the GDP target of $5 Trillion, India will require a huge number of highly skilled workforce. With the advent of new technologies there is a growing necessity for better infrastructure for upskilling in AI, ML, IoT that will eventually help India address the changing employment landscape. Government should consider revisiting GST in career counselling and reskilling courses which stands at 18% currently and can be reduced to encourage more students seeking professional help. Budget should also look at subsidizing education loans.
The Government should work on creation of institutes of the highest standards that promotes village industries through Indian Institutes of Handloom and Handicraft in collaboration with the state governments. This will help in upskilling of unskilled workforce and generate significant employment opportunities. Indian handicraft and handloom products has become a vital source to earn foreign exchange, thus Government should also focus on further measures to promote art and culture that defines India’s creative wealth.
Mr. P Srinivasavaradhan, President, TVS Srichakra Ltd
“Corporate Tax Rate cut along with reduction in GST on electric vehicles were some of the few welcome steps initiated by the government last year. For the coming year we urge the government to address the supply demand gap in natural rubber a critical raw material of the tyre industry. We request the government to reconsider the GST component in tyre pricing, also relook at relaxation in GST for two-wheelers. Steps to curb rising raw material and fuel prices will aid both vehicle manufacturers and auto component makers in the long-term. Some of the other focus areas are to strengthen the required road & transport infrastructure. Reviving the rural economy can help tackle the current slowdown.
While the government is taking steps to improve supply of goods & services, we expect the government to take steps to increase the demand by making more liquidity portion available in the hands of consumers.”
Mr. Sunil Rallan, Chairman and Managing Director, J Matadee Free Trade Zone Pvt Ltd
We are delighted with the government’s decision to allow all notified SEZs to operate as multisector SEZs. We urge the government to leverage SEZs to attract FDI in the Manufacturing Sector, furthering government’s Make in India initiative. With the creation of state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, we hope a provision will be made to permit SEZ units to undertake subcontracting work from units in the Domestic Tariff Area. Manufacturing Services should be given the required impetus to keep up with the pace of changing technologies by the government and in turn assist in job creation. We expect the government to revise full import duty on manufactured goods supplied to the domestic market from SEZ units. Duty/tariffs levied on the “duty forgone principal” would make manufacturing units suppling the DTA competitive, boosting investment and job creation. Also, single window clearances will pave way for the SEZs to ride the new growth wave in the country. We expect the government to let SEZs harness technology and low-cost services to provide efficient and superior-value services, become hubs for global businesses and boost exports in the coming years.”
John Baby, CEO, Funskool India
We urge the government to bring in reforms in this budget to make manufacturing and retailing blossom under the purview of ‘Ease of doing Business’. We hope that there are stricter quality standards are introduced to keep a check on illegal imports and help the toy industry in India grow and expand to the next level. We expect that the government takes steps that improves household incomes and spurs toy retail for the long-term, in the country.
Mr. Nishanth Chandran, Founder and CEO, Tendercuts
We urge the government to roll out policies to tackle the negative approach towards consumption of meat and seafood and aid in revolutionizing the meat retail industry in India. With a new generation of entrepreneurs focusing their attention towards tapping the potential of the meat and seafood industry, steps like improving animal husbandry to trigger job creation and provide subsidies and incentives to the sector to fuel the growth and consumption in the country. Also, improvements in infrastructure to supplement the rising demand, stricter food processing standards and an enhanced network of supply chain management and better implementation of cold chain logistics can allow the meat retail industry to chart the necessary progress in the coming years.
Mr. T Chitty Babu, Chairman and CEO, Akshaya Pvt Ltd
We appreciate the efforts taken by the government in the last one year which includes relaxation of ECB guidelines, Establishment of an organization to provide credit enhancement for infrastructure and housing projects to facilitate financing of homebuyers under PMAY, lowering of interest rates on House Building Advance, frequent repo rate and GST rate cuts to spur the growth demand in the real estate sector. We urge the government to create policies for Single Window clearance systems and granting industry status to the real estate sector. These measures will help regulate the flow of funds from banks, investors and other financial institutions and lend buoyancy to Housing for All initiative of the government. Also, we expect that in this budget government addresses the ongoing NBFC crisis and introduce tax benefits for home buyers and real estate developers to reduce the stress on the real estate sector and help in bringing back the buyer sentiment. We also hope that the government relooks at reinstating ITC benefits for real estate developers as it will help the developers in offsetting the costs and maintain steady prices and margins for the projects, thus revitalizing the real estate sector.
Swathi Bavanaka, Co-founder & COO, Evibe.in.
“For the year 2020, we are optimistic that the Union Budget will renew focus on startups and the fiscal impetus they need. Last budget missed the mark when it comes to major inclusions for the technology startup sector, we are optimistically looking forward to a course correction this year. As India is becoming a hub for home grown start-ups, it would be great if the Government can take this up as a priority area in the budget, allocate more funds and announce policies that would encourage the startup sector. This will help create a more welcoming ecosystem for the industry players and catalyze innovation.”