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Union Budget 2018 Reactions


The Union Budget 2018 evokes mixed reviews from the pharmaceuticals industry

Budget is marginally positive for the pharma sector as it sector will benefit from the cascading effect of the schemes announced under the Ayushman Bharat programme targeting universal health coverage under National Health Protection and opening up of health and wellness centres dispensing free drugs and diagnostic services to patients. These outlays, along with the increase in healthcare insurance premium limit for senior citizens, will lead to deeper and wider healthcare penetration and lead to higher consumption of drugs in the near-to-medium term. Overall, low-cost generic manufacturers, especially unbranded generics, are expected to benefit from the Government’s thrust on low-cost healthcare.

Gaurav Jain, Vice President and Co- Head, Corporate ratings, ICRA

The government’s focus on rural development and agriculture is a welcome step. The long overdue emphasis on our rural economy and agriculture will stimulate demand. The announcement of the Aayushman Bharat programme for healthcare is a game changer and the coverage of ten crore people under the National Health Protection Scheme is commendable. This will give an impetus to healthcare benefits for people in the most deserving sections of society.

Overall, while the budget appears to be a progressive one, it was disappointing to note that the reduction in corporate tax was offered only to companies with a turnover under of Rs. 250 crores.

Satish Reddy, Chairman, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories

“The Union Budget 2018 has taken a huge step in making healthcare affordable and accessible by launching the world’s largest government-funded healthcare programme. The initiative to cover 100 million families with Rs 5 lakh per family annual insurance cover is a welcome change. More exposure of the healthcare industry value adds to the life sciences sector which will boost the growth of the sector. The government’s proposed R&D investments in futuristic technologies – artificial intelligence, robotics, big data are sure to be a game changer to our industry.

Srinivasan HR, MD and Vice-chairman, TAKE Solutions

“While the finance minister has presented a moderate budget, he continues to lay emphasis on overall infrastructure development and strengthening of the rural economy. The increased focus on healthcare augurs well for citizens of the country. On the corporate side there are no significant changes or announcements which was expected. Overall the budget was as per expectations.”

Glenn Saldanha, Chairman and Managing Director, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals

“We see the move towards the massive health care coverage proposed in the National Healthcare Programme as a big boost to the Pharma industry.”

Sujay Shetty, Partner & Leader – Life Sciences, PwC India

Biotech industry’s expectations for dedicated research funds in the area of biosimilars development and regulatory ecosystem remains unattended. India definitely requires financial focus to ramp up this area and craft out its position in the world healthcare scene.

Debayan Ghosh, Founder & President, Epygen Biotech

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