Updated on 28 February 2013
Also, venture capital is the lifeline of this industry and tax incentives for setting up venture capital funds is a key. He said the finance minister has recognized this "but the measures announced are far from being adequate". "We have to study the implications of the tax rebates and funds allocated for advanced skills development. From the outside one is not able to put any numbers on to this," he added. "Exemption from excise or custom duties on life saving medicines as well as on their raw materials and exemption on capital goods and consumables, CROs, diagnostic kits have not been considered. Somebody has to realize these are important parts of health care." Mr Murali also said that no measures were taken to provide any tax holidays or soft loans to the biotechnology sector.
Meanwhile, he appreciated the plan outlay for science and technology (S&T) and the agriculture sector with two new institutes coming up. "More outlay to AYUSH is certainly a good step in the right direction," he said, adding that, "overall impression is that this budget is not path-breaking and not sending the right pointers for quick growth of this sector."
Ms Nidhi Saxena, founder, chairman and CEO, Karmic Lifesciences, a contract research organization based in Mumbai, said that India may have missed an opportunity to assert itself in the life sciences domain with this budget. "Industry expected the government to promote scientific and research infrastructure development to give a big thrust to R&D, including clinical research. India needs a strong research culture so as to create at least one blockbuster drug for which R&D and Clinical Research activities needed encouragement by way of a long term tax holiday on products developed in-house, extension of weighted deduction on R&D on all research related services, grants and scholarships for translational medicine," she said.
Despite an outlay of $7,466 million (Rs 37,330 crore) for health and welfare, private Infrastructure development in the sector (setting up of new hospitals and labs) is likely to lag with little incentive for the sector to play a big role. $200 million (Rs 1000 crore) to ensure safety and security of women as well as the proposal to set-up India's first women's bank as a PSU bank."
Mr Karnvir Mundrey, director, Atharva Lifesciences Consulting, a consultancy agency in India, too said sectors such as the CROs have not been addressed. "Also, while non-conventional energy has been addressed to some extent, it was hoped that the budget would go further towards setting a target for usage of non-conventional energy like ethanol," he pointed out.