Here’s what the wellness industry expects from Jaitley’s Budget 2017


Wellness has come to the forefront in the last decade on account of escalating healthcare costs, sharp rise in critical and lifestyle illnesses and lack of preventive care. Increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension has prompted healthcare professionals to promote wellness by encouraging behavioural changes. Wellness programs now enjoy growing popularity and thus are here to stay. As per the recent Value Added Service – Wellness preventive healthcare by FICCI & EY, wellness industry in India was estimated to have closed at Rs 85,000 crore in FY 2014-15. This sector as a whole is expected to nearly double by 2020. ALSO READ: COMMON MAN"S BUDGET 2017

Business Insider in an exclusive interaction with Vandana Luthra, Founder VLCC, one of the India's largest beauty courses training academies and fitness centres.

Luthra is optimistic about the Budget 2017-18 and has rising expectations for the wellness sector.

Here’s what the wellness sector expects from tomorrow’s budget, according to Luthra.

1. The Government should introduce schemes to increase health insurance coverage and also increase tax exemption limit. This should be undertaken as India's population is increasingly at a higher risk of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, blood –pressure, obesity, and hypertension. Therefore it becomes essential for us to focus on preventive healthcare by making quality medicines available at affordable prices and also through investment in preventive healthcare measures.

2. Healthcare services and health insurance premiums should be exempted from GST (once its rolled out) to ensure easy accessibility for people at large. This move will propel people to seek for medical assistance at an early stage, to ensure early detection and treatment of diseases. Also as per a recent FICCI report, wellness will be a key growth driver of health insurance in India. ALSO READ: NOW YOU WOULD BE PAYING TAXES FOR EATING BURGERS

3. From the policy perspective, the government should incorporate budgetary interventions to ensure that general well-being of the masses is taken care of and the incidence of preventable diseases comes down drastically. India is on its path towards becoming the diabetic capital of the world. If drastic measures are not implemented immediately, then the per capita expenditure on medical care for 1.3 billion people will be a major stumbling block for the growth of the nation. Therefore, we recommend lowering of tax rate for preventive health care services e.g. to prevent various disease including obesity which results in hypertension, diabetes and heart attacks, amongst other critical ailments. ALSO READ: YOU CAN OWN A CAR EASILY

4. To ensure established health and wellness companies setup their base, Government of India should relax the tax norms and exempt these companies from paying Tax Holiday Deduction (Under Section 80) for a few years to give a boost to this industry.
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