Updated on 28 February 2013
However, he appreciated some other announcements made by the finance minister. "Increased budgetary allocation for National Rural and Urban Health Mission may improve access. However, a planned allocation on ‘Universal Health Coverage' initiative was highly expected," he said, adding that the scope of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna has been expanded to widen its coverage, which is also expected to have an impact in improving access to healthcare for the marginalized section of the society.
Mr Shahani too welcomed the allocation of $6.8 billion (Rs 37,330 crore) to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, "particularly the increase of 24.5 percent over the revised estimates for the new national health mission". He also pointed out that innovation has received some attention with the setting up of the Indian Institute of Biotechnology at Ranchi and the allocation of $36.7 million (Rs 200 crore) to the Ministry of Science and Technology to help scale up innovations and make them available to the people. These measures also received a thumbs up from Mr Tapan Ray.
Mr Ray also praised the initiatives of an increased budgetary allocation for medical studies, expansion of medical care facilities for women and differently-abled and increased allocation for geriatric care.
Mr P M Murali, president, Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE), the biotech industry body of the country, commented that ABLE was trying to foster a climate where India can transform itself into a noticeable bio economy with year on year growth over 25 percent. "The aim is to position this industry grow to about $100 billion in the next 10 to 12 years. However, to achieve this the key drivers for growth in the biotechnology sector, which is highly capital-intensive, is to provide the necessary incentives for its growth," he said, pointing out that the industry's expectations have not been met.
"We had proposed a number of measures such as increase in weighted tax deduction and extending its applicability to activities like clinical trials. Clinical trials are expensive and such measures are of definite help," he added.