Himanshu Baid, MD, Poly Medicure Ltd., Health News, ET HealthWorld

Himanshu Baid, MD, Poly Medicure Ltd., Health News, ET HealthWorld

Shahid Akhter, editor, ETHealthworld, spoke to Himanshu Baid, Managing Director, Poly Medicure Ltd to know about his views on the Budget expectations for the MedTech industry.

What are your expectations from the upcoming budget 2021?
This year we have a lot of expectations from the budget and the government has already done quite a lot in releasing lot of funds to various sectors to ensure that there is enough liquidity in the system. Though we see some recovery, but some sectors have not recovered completely.

Healthcare sector needs maximum focus today. We are expecting PLI Scheme for R&D because currently there is no incentive for R&D and definitely some kind of incentives should be given to companies which file patents in India, design and project patents which have originated in India, those companies should get incentives through the PLI Scheme.

Another area where the government should focus is on Free Trade Agreements. Today many countries are misusing them and are putting products in the Indian markets through those Free Trade Agreements. That is probably causing damage to local industries so the government should review these FTAs and in this budget the government should put a plan forward that how they can review these Free Trade Agreements.

Another area of focus would be to look at inverted structure for hospitals because today hospitals have zero rated GST and a lot of GST which comes through input costs, they are not able to claim that GST back and that increases their cost of doing business. So, can this be changed and maybe there could be some relief for hospital sector.

Finally, healthcare industry should be given infrastructure status because they have suffered the most- our frontline workers, doctors, nurses- they have suffered the most and to scale up hospital beds in the country, definitely if this industry is given infrastructure status, then a lot of investment from the private sector can come in to ensure that India has adequate bed strength and in case of any pandemic in future, we’ll be handle it more effectively and more efficiently.

Your wish-list for the budget
The country is going through a big transformation. We are fortunate that the government of India has recognized MedTech as one of the champion sectors and this industry has a big wish list from this budget.

Today we have an inverted duty structure and we have requested the government to remove inverted duty structure on import duties, custom duties and also on the GST. So, if we can remove the anomalies, that will push ‘Make in India’ and also this will help Indian companies to scale up manufacturing.

We are also expecting in this budget that the government will increase expenditure on healthcare so there will be some new provisions for the healthcare industry as we have to go through the vaccination drive and government of India needs another 300-350 thousand crores to do that.

Plus, there is a big push towards wellness centres and there also government wants to invest close to 10,000 crores to upgrade those 1,25,000 centres. The third point is on the export front because today we don’t have an MEIS and this scheme was operational only upto 31 December,2020 and now with RoDTEP the incentives are not enough. With India having disability in manufacturing, we definitely need a new Export Promotion Scheme which can help MSMEs to take care of the disadvantages in cost of land, labor, financial cost, R&D cost and they can use this incentive to boost up their sales in export markets.

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