Industry calls Union Budget 2021-22 ambitious but awaits implementation

01 February 2021 | Opinion

NuFFooDS Spectrum brings to you the post-budget reactions of the industry Image credit- shutterstock.com Image credit- shutterstock.com

Soon after the Union Budget 2021-22 was presented by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman where she strongly positioned Health & Wellbeing as one of the 6 crucial pillars of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, industry's responses started pouring in.

NuFFooDS Spectrum brings to you the post-budget reactions of the industry-

 

“Focus on both preventive and curative healthcare in the Nutrition Program 2.0 is a great boost for the nutraceutical industry. For the first time, the government has explicitly mentioned the emphasis on overall wellbeing. Mission Poshan 2.0, which will be focused on strengthening the nutritional content, delivery, and the outcome is a great initiative and a big boost for the nutraceutical industry.  Further extension of the PLI scheme and emphasis on manufacturing in India is also encouraging. We will look forward to further specifics especially the PLI scheme for the nutraceutical sector.”

Sanjaya Mariwala, Executive Chairman and Managing Director at OmniActive Health Technologies and Founder President of the Association of Herbal and Nutraceuticals Manufacturers of India (AHNM), Mumbai

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"The proposal to launch an improvised Mission Poshan 2.0, and to merge some of the other nutrition-related programmes to give this initiative a boost considering malnutrition as one of the primary concerns in India because of which many health-related indicators are still not improving, is another welcome move”.

Dr Swadeep Srivastava - Founder & CEO - HEAL Health Connect Solutions, Noida

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"Taking the right policy measures in the budget 2021 for urban infrastructure, transport, textile, fisheries and encouragement of startups, along with disinvestment and Atma nirbhar Bharat programme and production-linked incentive’s (PLI) with a special focus on 13 sectors would generate sufficient and sustainable employment. Only this would lead to stable incomes and higher purchasing power which would, in turn, generate demand for FMCG and food products and services. Furthermore, the allocation of substantive funds for roads, highways and railways will improve the distribution network and efficiencies of food products and services leading to even higher demand and consumption thereby giving a huge fillip to the latter"

Shyam Sunder Aggarwal, Managing Director, Bikano, New Delhi

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"The launch of Mission Poshan 2.0 by merging the supplementary nutrition programme and Poshan Abhiyan is a great step to strengthen country’s public health as the mission intends to enhance the nutritional content delivery and the outreach. India is not only fighting COVID 19 outbreak but is also battling existing undernutrition in the country. NFHS-5 data shows the significance of nutrition than ever before as the nutrition indicators have not fared well. A provision of Rs 2700 crore has been made for Poshan Abhiyan in this year’s budget. We recognise that malnutrition is a complex condition that can involve multiple factors. Therefore, to reduce multiple forms of malnutrition, more nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive interventions should be targeted. This Union Budget has given a road map to boost the efforts already initiated to take the agenda of nutrition in a mission mode. The multi-sectoral approach to achieve nutrition outcomes will be further leveraged with health, sanitation, public distribution system, agriculture etc to address the root / underlying causes of malnutrition. One Nation, One Ration Card Scheme is also an attempt to expand the outreach of health and nutrition services among slum-dwellers and migrant population. As the POSHAN Abhiyaan aims to reduce malnutrition from the country in a phased manner, through the life cycle concept, clean water and sanitation will also be ensured by the government to achieve the universal health."                                      

Dr Sujeet Ranjan, Executive Director, The Coalition for Food and Nutrition Security (CFNS), New Delhi

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"We have been saying that emphasis on promotive, preventive and primary care only can help in making India healthy. One rupee spent on these three Ps can save five on curative care. Sanitation, drinking water, and nutrition have a similar impact. We are happy to note that Union Budget is focused on these issues."

Dr Girdhar Gyani, Director General, Association of Healthcare Providers- India ( AHPI), New Delhi

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"This is a balanced budget focused on the creation of relevant agri-infrastructure and capital flows to allied areas of value creation within agriculture viz dairy, animal husbandry, and fisheries. Ample focus on startups via the Startup India and Stand Up India schemes shall also help maintain the velocity of agritech startups to grow rapidly and positively impact farmers."

Subhadeep Sanyal, Partner, Omnivore, New Delhi

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"The extension of tax holidays for start-ups and capital gains will spark greater capital activity in the investment landscape and serve as an enabler of robust early-stage venture funding for startups."

Ankit Gera, co-founder of Junio, New Delhi

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"The extended tax holiday and capital tax exemption will definitely help home-grown startups find their footing in these tough times, while boosting the start-up ecosystem.

As India’s largest hyperlocal and omni-channel meat brand, we are particularly excited about the FM’s announcement to develop five major fishing hubs in Chennai, Kochi and Paradip. This will not only help create more employment opportunities, but also encourage more investment in the sector. In addition to this, the enhancement of agricultural targets will further ensure increased credit flow to animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries sectors.

In fact, the Government's continued commitment to doubling farmers' income by 2022 can be achieved through strategic investment and diversification of Animal Husbandry and Aquaculture.

In order to thrive in 2021, India needs to harness the power of innovation and nurture the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The budget, overall, seems to have focused on key priority areas to ensure India's recovery is on track and faster"

Narendra Pasuparthy, CEO & Founder, Nandu's, Bengaluru

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“Malnourishment is a silent emergency. With the Mission Poshan 2.0, the government has shown intent about improving the national nutritional status. This kind of investment in nutrition will not only help manage the growing burden of malnutrition in the country but also address various Sustainable Development Goals. Barricades and complications to undernourishment are intensely rooted in our social, economic, political and cultural problems. With a provision of Rs 2700 crore for Poshan Abhiyan in this year’s budget, I am hopeful that we would be able to accelerate our efforts further in addressing malnutrition and additionally gear towards a national guideline for Community-Based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) to tackle severe acute malnutrition in India.”

Sahil Sharma, Food Technologist and Public Policy Consultant

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"An increase by 137% in the budget outlays shows that the Government is serious. Just the symbolic placement of the sector in the first section of the budget speech shows the government’s commitment to enhance the health infrastructure for the wellness of all citizens. There is going to be a special thrust in natural medicines and therapy and this will give a boost to the nutraceutical segment. We welcome this budget for sure and aim to work hard for a self-confident and self-reliant India.”

Sushant Raorane, Director and Co-founder Adroit Biomed, Mumbai

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Despite the pandemic, the farm centre and the processing industries have responded well, wherein we continue to see good demand and the CAPEX cycle picking up. To further accelerate the growth in the industry, the government has increased investments in the dairy sector. The plans to modernise key fishing harbours such as Kochi, Chennai, and Vishakapatnam, etc. and the improvement of indigenous fishing harbours as hubs for increased economic activity necessitates deeper localisation and R&D growth in the fisheries sector for future prospects for increased productivity and profitability.

Ravichandran Purushothaman, President, Danfoss India, Chennai

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To strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach and outcome, the government plans to merge the supplementary nutrition programme and Potion Abhiyan to develop "Mission Potion 2.0" which will enhance nutritional outcomes across 112 aspirational districts. However, considering that AYUSH systems have immense potential to tackle the rising healthcare burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in India with its preventative approach, this year's budget didn't witness any separate funds allocated to boost traditional alternative medicine in the country which is a little disappointing. The AYUSH sector and alternative medicine played a crucial role in building the immunity of people during COVID-19. There should be more focus on creating awareness about why preventive healthcare is essential, more so with the ongoing pandemic. This cannot be achieved without a nationwide programme of educating the masses. The government could have provided funds for education and promotion of Naturopathy, which will further encourage domestic and offshore investors to put faith in the domestic market to spread the preventive healthcare system's knowledge.

KR Raghunath, Senior Chairman, Jindal Naturecure Institute, Bengaluru

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