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Union Budget 2012
Union Budget 2012

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Monday, February 27, 2012
Responding to the Union Budget 2012 Dr. Prathap C Reddy Chairman Apollo Hospitals Group said The Union Budget 2012 was reassuring and we are pleased that the Hon ble Finance Minister ensured a strong focus on inclusive growth and an equally robust thrust to address the bottlenecks in infrastructure development by allocating 50 lakh crores over the next five years with 50 expected to be contributed by the private sector. Addressing infrastructure development is fundamental to building a nation but it would have been better if healthcare which is integral to nation-building had been accorded an unqualified Infrastructure status . Almost 80 of the healthcare delivery in the country is taken care of by the private healthcare providers. Dr. Reddy added Four very encouraging announcements in the Budget were as under Tax exemption of Rs.5000/- for preventive health checks. With ample communication it would encourage early detection of diseases especially NCDs like cancer heart diseases and diabetes which are on the rise and help contain the disease burden. Increase in the quantum of deduction available under 35AD of the Income Tax Act in respect of capital expenditure incurred on construction of new hospitals consisting of at least 100 new hospital beds from the existing 100 to 150 Increase in the quantum of deduction available under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act in respect of medical insurance premium paid by senior citizens from the existing Rs 15 000 to Rs 20 000 Increase in the quantum of deduction available under Section 80DDB of the Income Tax Act in respect of specified diseases for senior citizens from the existing Rs 40 000 to Rs 60 000 Another positive for healthcare sector is the specific mention in the Budget speech that hospitals would be covered under the negative list under the service tax net. An assurance that clean drinking water will become more accessible to all in India is comforting as this in itself would save innumerable lives. Ramping up intensity of skill development too will help in building a larger manpower base in the nation. With the right impetus healthcare can well be the employment engine in India. Further it is good to note that a broad based consensus building effort is on with regard to introduction of FDI in multi brand retail. Healthcare is a fundamental pre-requisite for economic development and a defining step to catalyze this transformation would be the accordance of National Priority Sector status to Healthcare. According this status to healthcare will attract the capital required for development of physical infrastructure and educational institutions for medical paramedical and allied academics. This will create an attractive and enviable environment for domestic production of medical equipment devices and consumables while also catalyzing research and development. The nation and its administrators need to bear in mind that a healthy India is a prosperous India a powerful India.

Posted On : 3/19/2012 2:02:29 AM

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