Editorial

Focus On Healthcare: Expectations From Union Budget 2021

Coming out of 2020, the Union Budget has to be the flagbearer to revive growth. According to the National Statistical Office (NSO), India's GDP is estimated to contract by a record 7.7 percent during 2020-21 fiscal owing to the pandemic that hit a number of key manufacturing and services segments.

Start-ups will play a key role in the Indian government’s push for a self-reliant country as these home-grown services will push the economic growth and hence, their needs and wishes need to be factored in.

One of the biggest areas which plays a big part in growth and job creation is the ease of doing business ("EODB"). India, despite the advancements made in this regard, still lags behind here. And hence, start-ups needs this particular aspect to improve and expect pronouncements in the budget for the same. 

Now, more than ever, there is a need for a robust healthcare mechanism. There has to be a renewed focus on hygiene and sanitation. Currently, India has the lowest public healthcare expenditure as far as the GDP percentage is concerned. At this juncture, the budget provides hope as there has to be an increase in the expenditure as the sector is ripe for more foreign investment. The country has a right to an equal, easy, and affordable access to healthcare. 

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More funds need to be allocated towards skill development of teachers, nurses, paramedical staff, and caregivers. Also, if we make budget allocations for the development of telemedicine and home-based healthcare ecosystem, we can then hope to tap into the abundant resources that can spread right across the country. The only way this can be achieved is through a public-private partnership. 

There has to be a reduction on China for APIs and a lot of medical devices. This is where the government needs to support Indian companies so that they overcome this need by supporting the domestic manufacture of equipment and medicines.