The issues around the pharma sector are more policy related, with tax measures forming only part of the solution. While the support of the Government toward macro issues like skill development and bridging the infrastructure gap are fairly commendable, issues directly related to the pharma industry were fleetingly mentioned.
The promise of central assistance to strengthen drug laboratories and research should assist research in the country. However, the clarity around the role of the CDSCO and CDRI and the current regulatory ambiguities were much desired, today. Initiatives around developing clusters for biotech and promoting global partnerships to strengthen generic engineering and biotech will also help the biotech sector in the country. The Free Drug Service and Free Diagnosis Service were mentioned as priority were not substantiated enough from a procurement perspective, leaving behind ambiguity around execution.
In a nutshell, the budget did leave much to be desired in terms of answering the many questions that all the pharma industry stakeholders have in mind.
– Utkarsh Palnitkar, Partner, Head of Advisory, Head – Life Sciences, KPMG in India