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Tax Concession, Fund Allocation: Here’s What Pharma Sector Expects From Budget 2022

Budget 2022 Expectations: The pharma sector is also expecting a stable policy that would encourage research and development (R&D) activities and continuation of tax concessions on various drugs.

Updated: January 25, 2022 5:51 PM IST

By Business Desk | Edited by Manmath Nayak


Budget 2022: With just a few days left for Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to present Budget 2022 in the Parliament, the domestic pharmaceutical industry is expecting an increase in the overall fund allocation for the healthcare sector. The sector is also expecting a stable policy that would encourage research and development (R&D) activities and continuation of tax concessions on various drugs. Apart from this, the pharma sector is also seeking simplification of various processes to enhance ease of doing business for the private sector companies.

Speaking to news agency PTI, Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) president S Sridhar said an increase in the budgetary allocation from the current 1.8 per cent of the GDP to 2.5-3 per cent as envisaged in the National Health Policy 2017 along with a separate allocation for the bio-pharmaceutical sector R&D is imperative.

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He further added that the industry witnessed a significant momentum over the past year, especially in ensuring access to Covid-19 vaccines and medicines and this year’s budget will be crucial to accelerate sectoral growth and access to innovative health solutions across various diseases and not Covid alone.

Giving details, he said that Centre should continue with the existing Customs duty concessions for medicines as any discontinuation thereof in the current scenario will impact the accessibility of such medicines at affordable price. “The import duty exemptions for rare diseases innovator drugs developed globally, as proposed by the NPRD should also be taken into consideration,” he added.

Sharing his expectations, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) Secretary General Sudarshan Jain said for the knowledge-driven pharmaceutical industry, innovation and R&D is critical. “Additional measures towards improving ease of doing business in the pharma sector with emphasis on simplification and making the process industry friendly, with specific provisions for eliminating bottlenecks will encourage investment, thus, contributing to the long-term growth of the industry,” he said.

In the meantime, Healthcare industry body NATHEALTH stated that in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, it is crucial to create and build infrastructural and linked integrated capabilities like telemedicine,  home and senior care so that people can access quality and critical healthcare services equitably.

“The pandemic has made us realise the need of providing hospitals in tier 2 and 3 towns with adequate infrastructure such as diagnostic centers, oxygen beds, ICUs  and oxygen plants through increased budget outlay and greater investments. This will also help in creating employment opportunities and increase health system resilience,” NATHEALTH president Harsh Mahajan told PTI.

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