- Experts are expecting an increase of more than 50% in the budget of the health sector
- Pharma industry demands from Finance Minister to take steps to encourage investment
- Electronics industry demands reduction in GST rate to boost demand for domestic products
New Delhi. The domestic pharmaceuticals (pharmaceutical) industry has high expectations from the upcoming general budget. The industry believes that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will take steps like increasing the allocation for the healthcare sector, promoting research and development activities and continuing with tax exemptions on various drugs in the Budget for 2022-23.
3% of GDP should be allocated on health
Apart from this, the industry also wants simplification of various processes, which will improve the ease of doing business for private sector companies. The allocation for the health sector in the budget should be increased to 2.5 to 3 per cent of GDP from the current 1.8 per cent of GDP, said S Sridhar, president of the Association of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI). Apart from this, separate allocation should be made for research and development in the bio-pharmaceutical sector.
He said that the industry registered a remarkable growth in the last year. In particular, the industry was ahead in providing vaccines and medicines for Kovid-19. Sridhar said that this year’s budget will be crucial to sustain the growth of the industry and access innovative health solutions for not just Covid but other diseases. He said that the government should continue with the customs duty exemption on medicines. If the government does not do this, it will not be possible to make such medicines available at a reasonable price in the current scenario. He said that import duty exemption on innovative drugs for rare types of diseases should be considered.
Sudarshan Jain, Secretary General, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA), said additional measures should be taken to ease the ease of doing business in the pharma sector. The processes should be simplified and industry friendly. Simultaneously, steps should be taken to remove the bottlenecks and encourage investment.
Electronics makers want hike in import duty
The home appliance and consumer electronics industry is expected to hike customs duty on import of finished goods in the upcoming budget. The industry believes that this will help discourage imports. The industry has also sought incentives for specific research and development (R&D) and localization of projects under the Production Based Incentive (PLI) scheme. The Consumer Electronics and Appliance Manufacturers Association (Siema) said the industry worth about Rs 75,000 crore is looking forward to some decisions that will boost domestic manufacturing. The union’s president, Eric Breganza, said there should be a duty variation of five percent between parts and finished goods to further encourage local manufacturers. This will provide much needed impetus to the manufacturers and help in creating a manufacturing base in India.
Demand to create separate tax structure for LED
Siema has also asked for a roadmap for the tax structure for the LED industry for the coming five years so that appropriate investment and policy interventions can be planned. Breganza said the industry expects the government to bring down the goods and services tax on air conditioners to 18 percent. Apart from this, the industry also demanded reduction in tax on television (having 105 cm screen). Kamal Nandi, business head and executive vice president at Godrej Appliances, said air conditioners still come under the highest tax bracket of 28 per cent. We expect it to be brought under the tax bracket of 18 per cent.
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