Target of $5T economy incomplete without affordable healthcare: Piyush Goyal
The target of $5 trillion economy is incomplete if people of the country do not have quality of life due to lack of affordable healthcare, Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday.
Speaking at an interactive session with leaders of top pharmaceutical companies at BioAsia, Goyal said he would call for a meeting of pharma industry leaders in the second week of March to discuss the sector's problems.
He also said price control regime on some drugs and medical devices were here to stay.
"Innovation cant be seen only in the context of change... innovation will provide you an opportunity to reach out to the remotest corners of the country to all the people that we saw yearning for a better quality of life, for better healthcare, longer life expectancy."
In that sense, the $5 trillion economy will be incomplete if our people do not have quality of life, if you are not able to provide affordable healthcare to every single citizen of the country, he said when asked about the government's ambition in terms of pharma and life sciences industry.
Goyal said the Indian pharma industry, which is currently pegged at $40 billion, would reach $100 billion soon, backed by the capabilities of the sector.
Telangana Minister for IT and Industries K T Rama Rao moderated the session.
On the slashing of weighted average deductions to 100 percent from the earlier 150 percent and 200 percent that was available for research and development by the firms, he said the income tax rates would help encourage, but that was not the only factor for investments.
"That is not the only factor that determines whether an industry will come to a country, whether an industry will flourish in a country or not."
One must recognise that there were several dimensions to India, Goyal said. He added that India has the power of talent, demography, and leadership, all of which culminate into the "power of opportunity."
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)