Kentron Research Budget 2020

Expert Opinion on Budget 2020: Indian Healthcare Industry

India is a continuously growing market with emerging opportunities every moment.  With the addition of technology like big data, wearable devices, telemedicine, robotic surgeries and growing start-up ecosystem are some of the key drivers changing the landscape of the industry.

The device manufacturing industry has upside demographics with the government plan to lure the device industry to attract more abroad partner that is working quite well.

Dr GSK Velu, Chairman & Managing Director – Trivitron Healthcare says, ”The government should focus on creating the healthcare infrastructure and invest extensively in upgrading primary and secondary healthcare services in tier I-II cities in the country. This can leverage the indigenous medical technologies developed specifically for Indian healthcare needs, and thereby support the Make in India initiative.

The budgetary allocation should be enhanced on the primary health and on establishing the health and wellness centres (announced under Ayushman Bharat) which will help to reduce the disease burden.
The government should provide support to local manufacturing units in terms of preferred interest rates and priority sector lending and the focus should be on rationalising the GST rates for the health sector. Also, the medical devices manufactured in India should be given preference in government purchases”.

Nikhilesh Tiwari, Founder  & CEO, ColMed says, “At present, India imports nearly 80 per cent of all medical devices and domestic manufacturing took more of a hit post-GST as the imports became cheaper by 11 per cent. As the imports went up by 24 per cent 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.”

He added, “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. These changes will ensure a level playing field and help put an end to the import dependence, which is vital if we want to achieve universal health coverage in line with the United Nation & Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, the Government should give an export promotion scheme for a local manufacturer. Custom duty refund in case of re-exports.”

Another high expectation from the farming sector, with increasing food inflation that was seen in the last 6 – 8 months.

Dr Bhushan Bhavsar, Managing Director, Vetphage Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd says, “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.

He also added, “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. The 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.”

Similarly, Dr Prakriti Poddar Expert in Mental Health, Director Poddar Wellness Ltd, Managing Trustee of Poddar Foundation said, “Narendra Modi government 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 issue as they are integral to the functioning of the economy.

The Mental Health Act made it mandatory that every insurer shall make provisions for medical insurance for the treatment of mental illness on the same basis as is available for the treatment of physical illnesses. In case of hospitalization during mental illness, the coverage will include analysis and diagnosis of a person’s mental condition, treatment as well as care and rehabilitation of such person for his mental illness or suspected mental illness. However, making mental health a part of health insurance is not enough especially when the infrastructure and doctor to patient ratio cannot facilitate its smooth functioning. This is why the union budget needs to focus on mental well being in a wholesome way and emphasize the integration of mental health services in the basic health care system in India to improve upon its affordability and accessibility. The government should raise more awareness by organizing campaigns and empathy classes wherein people share what is preying on their mind instead of agonizing over it by keeping it in,”

Ashutosh Kumar, CEO, Textbook

As per last year’s budget Rs. 94800 Cr was allocated to the Education sector (School (60%) & Higher education (40%). What will the 2020 Budget unfold for Education?   

The weak education system can cripple a nation. Has our government considered upgrading themselves to the need and demands of the modern developing education system that is beyond textbooks and regular classes, have they allocated enough funds for the same? 

Few facts:

  • The current budgetary allocation for education in our country is less than 3 per cent of the GDP, which is low, compared to developed countries where it usually ranges between 5 per cent and 7 per cent of the GDP
  • According to the government think tank Niti Aayog, India should increase the education expenditure to nearly 6% of the GDP over the next 3 years – which is 4.6% of GDP as of now

Expectations from the Budget 2020:

  • As per last year budget Rs. 94800 Cr was allocated to the Education sector (School (60%) & Higher education (40%)), it should increase this year for updating and upgrading technology, reach and content
  • Making online courses affordable, there must be relaxation in GST. It should reduce from the current 18% to 5%
  • Creating jobs in Govt. sectors should increase Budget allocation in segments like Railway, Defence, Education (Teachers)

The budget should be allocated to support new technology Infrastructures

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