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Budget 2024: Pharma Industry Urges More Tax Breaks for R&D, Innovation, and Increased Healthcare Spending

Amidst the anticipation surrounding the upcoming Union Budget on February 1, the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry has outlined a comprehensive wishlist for Budget 2024, aiming for policies that foster innovation, research and development (R&D), and increased healthcare spending.

Sudarshan Jain, Secretary General of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, emphasized the need for conducive policies that offer direct and indirect tax benefits to pharmaceutical companies. The focus should be on critical areas such as innovation, R&D, and upgrading healthcare infrastructure. Jain highlighted the significance of continuous investments, especially in a sector with high risks and long gestation periods.

Dr. Ashutosh Raghuvanshi, MD and CEO of Fortis Healthcare & President of NATHEALTH, called for a significant hike in healthcare spending to 2.5% of GDP. The proposals presented by NATHEALTH emphasize transformative changes to bridge regional healthcare disparities and strengthen the healthcare value chain. The aim is to enhance medical value travel, address MAT credit issues, and build local capabilities for healthcare services.

Ameera Shah, Promoter and Managing Director of Metropolis Healthcare, underscored the importance of the upcoming budget in strengthening India’s healthcare ecosystem. Shah advocated for investments in critical areas like innovation, research, development, technology, and upgrading healthcare infrastructure. Additionally, she called for a 0% GST on diagnostic services, GST refunds on inputs, and rationalizing import tariffs on healthcare products to enhance accessibility and affordability.

These recommendations collectively aim to position India as a reliable supplier of medicines and a custodian of global healthcare. The healthcare sector looks forward to policy stability, continuity, and transformative measures in the upcoming budget, recognizing the role it plays in combating present and future healthcare challenges.

Source: CNBC-TV18

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