More Investment In R&D, Health Insurance Must Come Under 5% GST Tax Slab, Say Experts

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Budget 2021: The government must increase its investment in health, to at least 2.5-3 per cent of GDP by the year 2025 to ensure affordable healthcare, industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said in its Pre-Budget Memorandum 2021-22. 

CA Aditya M Agarwal, Partner, Mahesh K Agarwal & Co. and Secretary, Professional Times

Within the chain of command of needs and COVID-19, health insurance nowadays is ‘top of mind’ and health protection is more pertinent than ever. Health Insurance has gotten to be an essential product and should be slotted in the 5% GST tax slab from 18% to make it more reasonable for individuals to urge get to quality healthcare. At display, on most insurance products the GST is 18% which pushes the premium to 118% for the end-user.

Mr. Mustafa Daginawala, Chief Finance Officer, Saifee Hospital on the same. A humble request to you consider the same:

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“2020 has been an unusual year for the healthcare sector as the national focus shifted to containing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Private hospitals like Saifee were at the forefront of this critical effort in treating patients at very nominal rates as per the BMC notifications. However, our own revenues suffered as other services were affected severely. Given these circumstances, we would welcome any financial support by the government in the form of concessions in property tax or utility bills.

The pandemic also stretched thin our national healthcare infrastructure in the initial period when there was a rush of patients. It revealed an urgent need for higher budget allocation for the sector. In the short-term, we need budgetary allocation for vaccines at exempted or no cost. In the long-term, we need more investment in R&D, equipment, more hospitals, and in improving the overall infrastructure. The silver lining to this crisis was the much-needed focus it brought to the healthcare sector as the government pushed for affordable testing and treatment for everyone. This budget should reflect these concerns for universal quality care and vaccination for everyone.”



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