Mostly ignored in previous budgets, bioscience industry expects a fair deal this time.
In the backdrop of Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi's speech at the Indian Science Congress on January, 03, 2015, that he will direct respective ministries to look into the industry's concerns, stakeholders are looking optimistically at the upcoming union budget. The positivity this time also comes from the wordings of PM's speech in which he made it clear that in no way the existing unaccountability shall be tolerated in the Indian science and technology. The statements have come at a stage when the biotech industry has been reeling under tremendous pressure due to stunted growth in the last two years.
Therefore, it is obvious that all eyes will be on Mr Arun Jaitley when he presents the (what is being touted as popular) budget in the Parliament session starting from February 23. Earlier in his address to the industry chambers during pre-budget consultations, the finance minister had told industry leaders that reviving the manufacturing sector, diversifying its base and preparing it for robust long-run expansion was one of the major challenges. He had assured business heads that improving India's ranking in ease of doing business was a priority. In fact, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) president, Ms Jyotsna Suri has urged the minister to provide "a genuine non-adversarial and conducive tax environment" for the industry and economy to flourish. "There is a revenue target given to tax officers and because they have to attain that, they often make irrational tax demands. They should be judged on their performance and not on achievement of targets," she said.
Own investments or government's helping hand!
PM Modi in his speech had also advised industries to increase their own investments into research and development to achieve growth. Bioscience industry in its response has welcomed it but with a reminder that only streamlined regulations could help in achieving that.
"I do believe that the PM's speech last month was a landmark one. While lauding Indian scientists for their contribution, he laid down priorities for research in the fields of clean energy, agriculture, biotechnology, agriculture and health care. As a representative of the biotech industry, we found his emphasis on our industry very encouraging, especially in light of it shared as a national priority and an important enabler to nation building," said Mr Ram Kaundinya, director general, Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises- Agriculture Group (ABLE-AG). He added further,