With Budget 2022-23 all set to be announced on February 1, 2022, we spoke to a few industry leaders across different sectors on what their expectations from the government are:
Shilpa Khanna Thakkar, CEO, Chicnutrix
The Make in India or Be India Buy Indian should be the key focus. India has emerged as a land of opportunities where we are constantly witnessing a lot of start-ups flourishing. Quite a few successful start-ups have been spearheaded by women. There is still a gap of financial support and literacy that becomes an obstacle. Efforts need to be taken to support and mentor these entrepreneurs. Investing in home-grown start-ups and brands will make them more independent. Also, consumption of Indian products will boost the economy and make the grass greener. Investors and government bodies should allocate funding that supports sustainable businesses. With health and wellness taking centre stage, there should be a relaxation of taxes on essential wellness products. Encouragement to use wellness and nutrition products will boost the demand which is another factor leading to the growth of start-ups.
Prabhdeep Singh, Founder and CEO, StanPlus
The expectations from the Budget 2022-2023 are vital, given the healthcare industry’s relentless battle with the current COVID-19 pandemic. We would appreciate it if the finance ministry recognises the industry’s crucial need for ambulances and decreases the GST on new ambulance purchases from 28% to a 5% or a 12% slab. If fulfilled, this big step will encourage the acquisition of more ambulances and minimise the time it takes for patients to reach hospitals during medical emergencies.
Pranav Bajaj, Co-founder, Medulance
Considering the healthcare industry’s raging battle with the ongoing Covid19 pandemic, the expectations from the Budget 2022-2023 are critical. One of the main expectations for this year is an increase in funding with around 2.5 percent of GDP allocation to the healthcare industry. An allocation of budget for establishing mini-Anganwadi centers in deprived areas is another factor that will foster inclusive growth and welfare in the country. Meanwhile, the existing healthcare gap can be filled by introducing tax benefits and relaxations for private players and public-private partnerships. At Medulance, we firmly believe that prevention is better than cure and a shift from reactionary and interventional healthcare to proactive healthcare is the need of the hour. It will also reduce the financial expenditure in the longer run. Finally, the pre-existing schemes such as Ayushman Bharat and NDHM must be strengthened in terms of their effectiveness and implementation for apparent results.
Chander Shekhar Sibal, Senior Vice President, Medical Division, Fujifilm India
We’re looking forward to building and balancing the country’s healthcare infrastructure with government’s support as we enter the third year of the pandemic. We hope that the budget delivers a special focus on healthcare to mitigate the devastation from the coronavirus. For this, it will be pertinent to have concrete policies that ensure accessible and affordable healthcare. It would be great to see the allocation of funds within the states as per policy. The timeline of fund clearance should be reduced to clear roadblocks due to lack of funds. Once these are in place, we can expect better outcomes out of public-private partnerships in the space and make payment processing easier and quicker. Since healthcare has made significant advances in the light of COVID-19, this year, we would like to bring out a focus on preventive healthcare to fortify the health of the people. With a large population and a diverse requirement for healthcare across situations, we at Fujifilm are gearing up to support India’s healthcare/medical needs.
Satish Kannan, Co-founder & CEO, MediBuddy
With the insistent surge in Covid19 cases, it is extremely imperative that the Budget focuses on strengthening the medical infrastructure uniformly. It should allocate some funds on developing the telemedicine industry to strategically bridge the disparity and to ensure that accessibility of quality healthcare services increases. Persistent problems that have been a hiccup for several years in the industry could be solved with the help of telemedicine, which holds the potential to solve them with ease. There should also be an emphasis on research and development in various medical fields to strengthen the current standing. Overall, we are expecting to see a rise in fund allocation of 2.5% to 3% of the GDP with regards to the healthcare sector.