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Union Budget 2012-13: Healthcare sector highlights

Find out what the Union Budget 2012-13 holds for healthcare and other related sectors.

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  • Healthcare spending to be increased from Rs.26,897 cr to Rs. 30,702 cr an increase of 14%.
  • All healthcare services exempted from service tax. However hospitals with twenty five or more beds and central air conditioning will not get this exemption! 5% tax will be levied on the actual value of the services provided by these hospitals and diagnostic tests.
  • Govt hospitals shall be exempted from this tax.
  • Proposed increase in allocation for National Rural Health Mission and launch of the National Urban Health Mission to meet the needs of urban poor and slum dwellers
  • Excise duty on certain categories of tobacco products
  • Rs 300 cr to be allocated to promote higher production of nutri-cereal like bajra, jowar, ragi and millets and to create awareness about
  • The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) , health insurance for the poor has been extended to cover MGNREGA beneficiaries. This scheme will also include to cover people who work in unorganized sectors in hazardous conditions mine workers.
  • Environmental management has been allocated Rs 200 cr to launch environmental remedy programs which is a major source of public health concern.
  • Increase in excise duty to affect pharma sector
  • Integrated Child Development Scheme to be strengthened and restructured with allocation of Rs.15,850 crore.
  • Allocation of Rs.14,000 crore for rural water supply and sanitation.
  • Concessional basic customs duty of 5 per cent with full exemption from excise duty/ CVD to six specified life-saving drugs/ vaccines in this year s budget.
  • Reduced basic customs duty on soya protein concentrate and isolated soya protein to 10 per cent from the present 30 per cent or 15 per cent respectively. Basic customs duty and excise duty reduced on iodine from 6 per cent to 2.5 per cent. On probiotics, the basic customs duty is now 5 per cent reduced from 10 per cent.
  • Multisectoral Plan to Fight Malnutrition in 200 High Burden Districts - hike of 58 percent in the budgetary allocation for this scheme compared to last year. Similarly he proposed to hike the allocation for National Programme of Mid Day Meals in Schools from Rupees 10,380 crores in 2011-12 to Rupees 11,937 crores in 2012-13. The Finance Minister proposed an allocation of Rupees 750 crores for Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls, SABLA.
  • Government to achieve vaccine security - To keep the pressure up on disease eradication and prevention, the government plans to set up new vaccine units in the country and modernize the existing ones. Announcing this while presenting Union Budget 2012-13, the Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee proposed to set up a new integrated vaccine unit near Chennai. Buoyed by no polio case in the last one year, the Finance Minister Shri Mukherjee was emphatic that the government will achieve vaccine security. The Finance Minister Shri Mukherjee enlarged the scope of Accredited Social Health Activist s (ASHA) activities to include prevention of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, ensure 100 percent immunisation and better spacing of children. The Finance Minister Shri Mukherjee said that Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana is being expanded to cover upgradation of seven more Government Medical Colleges.

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