Budget 2021 Expectations: As Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is getting ready for the Union Budget presentation on 1st February 2021, she will have to come across a huge number of demands from all sectors, as it would be the first budget post-COVID-19 lockdown. During lockdown, PM Modi has batted strongly for an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and medical companies have demanded from the FM to keep that in mind while making this years’ budget. They have redressal of taxation policies like raising import duties on medical devices, abolition of custom duties on raw material imported to be used in the manufacturing of medical devices domestically, abolition of healthcare cess, etc.
Speaking on his wish list from FM Nirmala Sitharaman in Budget 2021; Ashok Patel, Founder & CEO, Max Ventilators sid, “In continuity with the spirit to promote indigenization with the larger goal of moving towards an Atmanirbhar Bharat, the government could consider raising import duties on medical devices valued at less than 50 lakhs to a flat 25 per cent from the existing 0 to 10 per cent. As a corollary, it should also abolish custom duties on raw material imported to be used in the manufacturing of medical devices domestically. With the 5 per cent healthcare cess and social welfare surcharge amounting to anything between 1.5 to 2 per cent, the cost of the raw material in total rises by about 7 per cent rendering the final domestic product somewhat less competitive.”
Demanding attention for telemedicine and home healthcare; Vikram Thaploo, CEO, Apollo TeleHealth said, “The present taxation policies and regulations do not cover telemedicine, home healthcare and the cost of diagnostic tests along with other at-home aspects continue to come directly from out of pocket expenses. This is another area that will require the necessary attention in the upcoming budget.”