Life Sciences - Hitesh Sharma, Tax Partner and Life Sciences leaders, EY India
"The dedicated focus, holistic approach and the constant endeavour of the Indian Government to improve the overall health and wellbeing of people is a welcome move. Budget 2021 is largely focused towards strengthening the basic government healthcare infrastructure with introduction of critical care hospital blocks, Public Health Units, Health emergency centres etc. Also, a specific allocation of INR 35,000 crores towards vaccination lays down a roadmap of the central government to vaccinate more than 50-60 cr population of India in FY 2021-22. Lastly, the expansion of integrated health information portal to all states/ UTs hopefully is a step towards digitalisation of health care records and connection with all public health labs"
Public healthcare - Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Partner, Government and Public Sector, EY India
"Allocation of Rs 2,23,846 crores (137% increase compared to FY 2020-21) towards healthcare is not only in line with the immediate requirement to deal with pandemics like COIVD-19 but also consistent with the National Health Policy 2017, which aspires to increase expenditure on healthcare to 2.5% of GDP. Further, the new Centrally Sponsored Scheme 'PM Aatmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana' would provide an additional impetus and complement the NHM budgets to accelerate the development of primary, secondary, and tertiary health care infrastructure. It is also heartening to see that there is a special focus with substantially increased allocation on social determinants of healthcare including launch of Mission Poshan 2.0 to improve nutritional outcomes, Jal Jeevan Mission ensuring universal water supply, Urban Swachh Bharat Mission focussing on solid and waste water treatment, source segregation of garbage, reduction in single-use plastic, reduction in air pollution, among others. This increased allocation would not only improve the health outcomes but also go a long way in the achievement of 5 out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (Zero Hunger, Good Health & Wellbeing, Clean Water & Sanitation, Sustainable cities & Communities & Climate Action)."