Budget: Healthcare sector looks at new GST rates; Startups seek changes in policy

Budget: Healthcare sector looks at new GST rates; Startups seek changes in policy

Agency News

New Delhi, Jan 30 : The healthcare sector says that the focus in the Union Budget 2020-21, which will be presented on February 1, should be on rationalising the GST rates for the sector while Startups in other sectors want changes in the current GST policy in the Budget.

Dr GSK Velu, Chairman and MD - Trivitron Healthcare said, ''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, Dr Velu said. ''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,'' Dr Velu added. Arindam Haldar, CEO, SRL Diagnostics on expectations from the budget, said, ''We commend the intent expressed by government regarding the goals and increased fund allocation for Ayushman Bharat - PMJAY. But what’s missing even today is a health care scheme that provides cover for out-patient department (OPD) and diagnostics expenses. ''Indian healthcare spend entail huge ''out of pocket'' expenditure, thus there is a need for inclusion of diagnostics spends under the ambit of insurance, which would further help Indian consumers to reduce the financial burden.''

Shashwat Diesh and Aqib Mohammed, Co-Founder of Gurgaon based female Wellness Startup, Azah, which makes organic cotton sanitary pad, said, ''We hope the government makes changes in the current GST policy for businesses selling nil GST products and help balance the input – output tax to ensure more competitive prices for the Indian consumers and implement sustainable policies that help increase liquidity in households thereby increasing the consumption in our country in the near future. Also, health, hygiene, and sanitation are some of the major concerns in India. It is the need of the hour. The Government should recognize menstrual hygiene products as a necessity for the betterment of society and realize its significance in socio-economic growth. Although sanitary products are tax free in India, the cost of running a business has gone up for businesses that primarily sell only GST free products (products with nil GST).''

Sadiya Naseem, founder of Glam Studios, said, '' Like every Indian, I am also looking forward for the budget to get announced soon...and especially as an entrepreneur my eyes would be more on the schemes, policies and the offerings, the government is going to launch for startup ecosystem of the country in the upcoming budget. There should be leverage given to startups in TDS,GST, PF and other compliances related payments. The entrepreneurs when lack funds these liabilities become really big for them and the fear of the same stops many of creative brains from starting their journey.''(UNI)