The first Union Budget of the third decade of 21st century has been presented by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
NuFFooDS Spectrum brings to you a bag of responses from the industry-
“We laud the gesture of the Government of India to allocate Rs. 69,000 crore for the health sector in FY 2021. Additionally the allocation of Rs. 35,600 crore for nutritional related plans will go a long way in improving the nutritional quotient of its citizens. We welcome the Government’s plan to establish two National Science Schemes for production of medicines, while also urging the Government to harness the power of natural ingredients and herbs in the production of medicines, thereby making the medicines free of chemicals. The need of the hour is to improve the nutritional quotient of people by providing herbal based health solutions, particularly in areas where modern medicine is not of much help.”
Dr. Muhammed Majeed, Founder & Chairman, Sami-Sabinsa Group
“Severe malnourishment is a silent emergency. With a 25% increase in the budget outlay from INR 29165 crore in 2019-20 to INR 35600 crore in 2020-21 for nutrition related programme and proposed taskforce for recommending the age of girl entering motherhood, the govt. has shown intent about improving the national nutritional status of women, children of 0-6 years of age, lactating mothers, adolescent girls. This kind of Investment in nutrition will not only help tackle severe acute malnourishment but also address various Sustainable Development Goals i.e. eradicating extreme poverty & hunger, promote gender equality & empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, develop a global partnership for development.. Barriers and obstacles to malnutrition are deeply rooted in our social, economic, political and cultural problems . Since the launch of Poshan Abhiyan in 2019, over 6 lakh anganwadi workers equipped with smartphones have uploaded the nutrition status of 10 crore households in India there by helping create the Magic of Radical yet Sustainable Transformation. The government has hit the right notes and it must continue to lay down a sustainable and consistent approach to ensure that Severe Acute Malnutrition, Moderate Acute Malnutrition, Stunting, Severe Underweight and Aneamia will become conditions of the past.”
Dr Chandrakant Pandav, Member of National Council on India Nutrition Challenges, POSHAN Abhiyan
“Encouraging steps to promote nutrition: 35,600 cr dedicated towards nutrition programs will surely create awareness of good eating habits especially amongst kids. While details are awaited, this will also open up opportunities for brands like Lil’Goodness and sCoolMeal which work with parents and educational institutions to ensure that our next generation eats right.
Govt funds to support early stage startups even at an ideation stage, will encourage more innovations to come to fruition, leading to a bigger ecosystem of original innovation.
Removal of dividend distribution tax to be paid by companies will reduce the cash burden of profitable startups- hopefully this should lead to a push towards profitability of startups which can generate positive cash flows.
Startup ESOPs: deferral of taxation is beneficial for both startups and the employees. Benefits for startups with turnover of up to 100 crores, both in terms of tenure and rates of taxation will cushion startups against cash flow shocks, while providing them with tools to attract high quality talent.”
Harsha Vardhan, Co-Founder & CEO, Lil’ Goodness and sCool Meal
“This has been one of the path-breaking budgets giving a boost to agri and fisheries sector with special focus on Nutrition-related programs. As per Unicef reports forty-three percent of Indian children under five years are underweight and 48 percent (i.e. 61 million children) are stunted due to chronic undernutrition, India accounts for more than 3 out of every 10 stunted children in the world. India also has a burgeoning young working population with a median age of 28.4. Many in urban India are calorifically sufficient but nearly 70% are nutritionally deficient, which causes several long-term health problems and diseases. Making the needs of nutrition and health through good quality food is the most urgent need of the country. The proposed allocations of Rs.35, 600 crores for Nutrition-related programs will really help address the issue of malnutrition in the country. However such aid programs need to be carefully administered to organizations which are on the front line providing affordable and nutritious meals to common man, woman, and children.
Naveen Chander, Co-founder, NuTy