#8-Blog – Union Budget – 2021
With the Covid-19 pandemic putting the spotlight firmly on the biotech and pharma sector, after years of being ignored by successive FMs the industry has its fingers crossed for key prescriptions in the upcoming Union Budget for boosting the health of the sector.
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivered her third Union Budget in Lok Sabha on Monday, February 1. The FM announced an allocation of Rs 71269 crore for the healthcare sector in 2021-22, in 2021-21 the outlay was Rs 69,000 crore (3.28% increase over last year) and Rs 62,659.12 crore in 2019-20. And since the pandemic ended up increasing last year’s budget expenditure to Rs 78,866 crore, technically, the allocation proposed for the upcoming fiscal year is lower than 2020-21. The FM speech said, “The total budget outlay for healthcare is Rs. 2.23 lakh crore. This is an increase of 137 % from last year. Rs 64,180 crore will be invested over 6 years to improve primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare, this is in addition to National Health Mission. The government stretched its resources for the benefit of the poorest of the poor. Health outlay to be used to establish critical care units and hospital blocks. Rs 2,217 crore outlay for 42 urban centers to tackle air pollution. Vaccines will be rolled out across the country. This will prevent over 50,000 child deaths annually. Rs 35,000 crore for COVID-19 vaccines.
REVIEWS ON UNION BUDGET 2021:- Pointing out that the sector is not only of national importance but a large exporter as well, Parag Agarwal, CFO, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, urged the FM to restore the weighted deduction on R&D expenditure as well as the exports incentive scheme. Natco Pharma Ltd’s CEO Rajeev Nannapaneni said he expects a large allocation in public health institutions as we need to build a strong public health care system that can deal with chronic illness and pandemics.