Budget 2018Budget Action & ReactionNews

Post Budget Quote 2018 – Kiran Kalakuntala, Founder and CEO, eKincare

Startups and Investment
It was great to see government acknowledge that Venture Capital Funds and the angel investors need an innovative and a regulatory regime for their growth. The finance minister said that they will be building a robust alternative investment regime in the country and rolling out tax regimes designed for investors. This is a positive step in the right direction. Hope the measures they take will attract investors and help startups grow.
The National Health Insurance scheme which will cover around 10 crore underpriviledged families was an ambitious move by the government and was also the need of the hour. Right now most people do not go for health check-up or treatments due to their inability to finance it. The government’s spending will enable many underprivileged and vulnerable families get insurance cover of  Rs5 lakh each to finance hospitalisation and treatment in secondary and tertiary care facilities. This move will go a long way in empowering India’s underprivileged and rural sectors.
The insurance scheme, is billed as the world’s largest government-funded healthcare programme with around 10 crore families to benefit from it. This will definitely get more health-tech startups to fulfil the demand that will be generated through this initiative. It will create jobs and further help in providing healthcare to the remotest of place in India
However, with regard to medical reimbursement for the salaried class, the finance minister has left income tax slabs untouched, and brought back standard deduction of ₹40,000 for transport and medical reimbursement. I feel this will only nominally benefit the salaried people earning up to 5 lakh a year, by reducing the total taxable income by just ₹5,800. For those earning more than ₹5 lakh per year, the tax will probably increase, as there will be a 4% ‘Health and Education Cess’.
The finance minister termed infrastructure “growth driver” of the economy, with an allocation of Rs 5.97 lakh crore for infra spending. This will positively help integrate the country with a good transportation network to provide good quality services to the people. The government is also looking to set up health and wellness centres, which will bring healthcare systems closer to homes of people.
All this will help create jobs and raise the standard of living across the country. The finance minister also said that the government will develop 10 tourist destinations, which is great as it will promote tourism and attract more people to visit India.
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