‘Health budget should be increased by 30-40% to support growth’


The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry wants to increase allocation for the growing need for health facilities and infrastructure across the country.

Saket Dalmia, President, PHDCCI, said: “PHDCCI recommends that due to the growing need for health facilities and infrastructure across the country in different regions, it is important to significantly increase the health budget. We propose to increase the health budget by 30-40 percent in the upcoming budget to support the industry’s growth plan.”

Dalmia said that under the increased budget, the main focus could be on a widespread healthy living campaign, which is the need of the hour to build a healthy human potential for the country.

The importance of healthy living must necessarily be included in the school curriculum. Awareness programs about diabetes and other diseases of affluence should be organized by local authorities, chambers and associations.

“In order to encourage the Health Tech and Wellness industry, the GST rate on services and products that provide health benefits to people and belong to the Health Tech, Wellness and AYUSH industry should be lowered to the 5 percent plate instead of the prevailing 12 percent and 18 percent in most cases,” he said.

In addition to paying special attention to the production of APIs and medical devices to encourage Aatmanirbhar Bharat, the government should establish primary clinics at the Panchayat level and ensure their proper and regular functioning.

They must be digitally equipped to enable telemedicine, the PHDCCI president added.

prof. Arvind Mohan, professor and head of the Department of Economics at Lucknow University, highlighted the health burden posed by tobacco in India, which is about 1.04 percent of GDP, and said the substantial tax increase on all tobacco items and stronger laws will not only getting the best out of human capital by improving the health of citizens.

Prof Mohan explained: “At present, health is a major challenge for human development, as at least 70 percent of health expenditure is paid by the public itself, while only 25-30 percent is paid by government and global institutions.

“But if we manage to reduce this expenditure by taxing tobacco products, we will not only be able to capitalize on our human resources, but we will also be able to increase GDP manyfold. This will also help realize our dream of a $5 trillion economy ,” said Prof. Mohan.

Dr. Pritam Datta, a fellow at the Delhi-based National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), stressed that while the main argument for introducing GST in 2017 was that it would contribute 2 percent of GDP growth, in reality this did not happen.

“These taxes also have the added benefit of improving health outcomes, significantly reducing mortality and morbidity. And these health benefits would skew disproportionately for low-income consumers,” Datta said.


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