PB Jayakumar, Senior Editor, Business Today
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his Budget for 2015-16, offered incentives for yoga providers and punished smokers by increasing excise duty on cigarettes. He also noted that Swachh Bharat is not only a programme of hygiene and cleanliness but, at a deeper level, a programme for preventive health care. "Good health is a necessity for both quality of life and a person's productivity and ability to support his or her family," he said in his Budget speech.
Nilaya Varma, Head of Healthcare sector, KPMG in India, welcomed the move to set up new AIIMS in some states to strengthen the tertiary care infrastructure. "However, the pressing need is to strengthen the primary and secondary care network, if we have to create better health outcomes," Varma says.
- Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna accidental death risk insurance scheme and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, which covers both natural and accidental death.
- Creation of Senior Citizen Welfare Fund.
- New scheme for providing physical aids and assisted living devices for senior citizens living below the poverty line.
- Atal Innovation Mission to promote research and development.
- All India Institutes of Medical Sciences in J&K, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Assam.
- Three new National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh; and Institutes of Science and Education Research in Nagaland and Odisha.
- Increase in the limit of deduction in respect of health insurance premium from Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000.
- Did not increase the percentage of weighted deduction for companies undertaking scientific research.
- No tax benefits for R&D and contract manufacturers.
- No tax benefits for setting up state-of-the-art health care facilities in metros, tier I and tier II cities.