India Budget 2018
In my opinion, the healthcare services should also be included in the GST at a nominal rate. This will ensure all transactions in the healthcare sector to be mapped in the tax system, adding revenue to the government and healthcare organizations getting the benefit of input tax credit. This approach will help in ensuring a fair price for the end-consumers and also meeting the government’s objective of raising revenue in a transparent and unbiased method.
Preventive health checkups are highly beneficial to reduce the burden of diseases in the country but the insufficient tax reimbursement on it makes the individual not invest in it. We have been emphasizing since a long time that tax exemption of INR 5000 is a negligible amount when considered for an entire family of the assessee. In its 2017’s National Health Policy, the government aims ‘to achieve the highest possible level of good health and well-being, through a preventive and promotive healthcare’; this might be achieved if the tax exemption limit is increased from the current rate of INR 5000. More people will be motivated to avail health screenings and stop depending upon curative treatments only.
I recommend, the limit of INR 5,000 on preventive health checkup under section 80D should be removed, or a separate section to be created for wellness for tax reimbursement so that preventive health checkup gets its due credit. Similarly, corporates should also receive special tax benefits for including preventive healthcare in their policies for their employees’ health and wellbeing.”
Amol Naikawadi is the JMD of Indus Health Plus