Ficci recommends priority status for healthcare

New Delhi


The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) has recommended to the government to accord priority status to the healthcare sector in the upcoming budget.

Sangita Reddy, Senior Vice President, Ficci, said on Thursday that the industry is looking forward to a clear and proactive policy in the upcoming budget including priority status to the health sector.

"Healthcare must receive a priority status so that it enables easier access to funding," said Reddy, who is also the Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise. 

In a video address on Ficci's Youtube channel, Reddy noted that India has done a "commendable job towards universal health coverage by undertaking Ayushman Bharat".

However, she added that private sector participation will be needed to scale up in areas like capability, number of beds, manpower and training.

"The industry is also seeking support to get investment towards the new age healthcare and in that, data sharing, digitalisation, electronic health record, personal health records - all are very important buzz points," she added.

Recommending steps to support startups, Reddy said that angel tax must be removed as it helps in spurring the entrepreneurial spirit, creating and nurturing innovation, and creating startups which can be the unicorns of tomorrow.

Highlighting the importance of the environment and water, she said that some important budget announcements for water conservation and preservation were expected.

On taxes, the Ficci official said that reduction in corporate tax will boost the mood of the corporate sector and support the economy. 

Also, an upward revision in the individual income tax slabs will further boost consumption and enhance GDP growth. Reddy also said that there are a lot of opportunities for the banking sector. 

"The banking sector needs further look whether in terms of promoting greater liquidity or innovation in terms of the enablement of more hands having access to low cost funding," she said.

Reddy stressed on strengthening the education sector. 

"The education sector and the follow through of what happens to human resources is another very important area which I am sure the budget will focus on," she said. IANS