Guest Editorial by Dr. Bhavdeep Ahuja: Salient features of Budget 2020 for Healthcare Professionals
Dr. Bhavdeep Singh Ahuja graduated in 1998 from Punjabi University, Patiala. He has specialized in Implants from BioHorizons Inc. USA in 2004-05 & in Advanced Course from LACE-ICOI, USA in 2006. Apart from Dentistry, he holds a Triple M.B.A. in Hospital Management, Finance/Human Resources (dual) & Marketing from three premier Institutes/Universities of India viz. the IIMM Pune, IGNOU Delhi & Annamalai University, Chennai respectively. He also holds Post Graduate Diploma’s in Medical Law & Ethics (NLSIU - Premier LAW School of India), Clinical Research, Cyber Law, IPR's (Intellectual Property Rights), Disaster Management, Financial Management, Bioinformatics amongst many more from different Universities. He is a Certified Health Care Waste Manager from IGNOU & is qualified in Consumer Law as well. He is an academically oriented dentist & has more than 75 Original Scientific Publications to his credit in many International & National journals. He lectures all over India extensively on the topics of Practice Management, Medical Law, Ethics and Consent and Finance for Dentists and he is writing a series on all these topics in multiple journals simultaneously. He has been the Past Editor-in-Chief, L.E.D. E-Journal & PAGE 3 OLA-D E-Newsletter, the twin Publications of IDA Ludhiana Branch. Presently, he is into his 21st year of Clinical Private Practice in Ludhiana, Punjab.
I am not going to do a minute post mortem of the budget, only those aspects (well, most of them) which we Dentists in particular and Doctors, in general, are going to feel an impact of in healthcare.
10 KEY FEATURES – HEALTH CARE
Let me list out the top points affecting us – the health care professionals.
- Mission Indradhanush has been now expanded to cover 12 diseases (it was 7 earlier), including five new vaccines. FIT India movement is a vital part of the fight against non-communicable diseases coming out of lifestyle issues. Focused safe water (Jal Jeevan Mission) and a comprehensive sanitation program (Swachch Bharat Mission) have been launched to support the health vision reducing the disease burden on the poor.
- Presently, under PM Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), there are more than 20,000 empanelled hospitals and more would be built in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities for poorer people under this scheme.
- Using machine learning and AI, in the Ayushman Bharat scheme, health authorities and the medical fraternity can now target disease with an appropriately designed Preventive regime.
- “TB Harega Desh Jeetega” campaign has been launched with a commitment by the Govt. to end Tuberculosis by 2025.
- The Jan Aushadhi Kendra Scheme will be expanded to all districts of India offering 2000 medicines and 300 surgicals by 2024.
- The health sector has been allocated about Rs. 69,000 crores that are inclusive of Rs. 6400 crores for Prime Minister Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY).
- A National Police University and a National Forensic Science University will be made in the domain of policing science, forensic science, cyber-forensics etc.
- To overcome the shortage of qualified medical doctors – both, general practitioners as well as specialists, a medical college will be attached to an existing district hospital in PPP mode.
- The Govt. will encourage large hospitals with sufficient capacity to offer resident doctors, Diploma and Fellow of National Board (DNB/FNB) courses under the National Board of Examinations which imparts PG medical qualifications.
- The imposition of Health Cess on specified medical equipment: Health Cess at the rate of 5% is proposed to be imposed on the import of medical devices and the proceeds shall be used for financing the health infrastructure and services. This Health Cess shall be a duty of Customs and shall not apply to medical devices which are exempt from BCD (Basic Customs Duty). Further, inputs/parts used in the manufacture of medical devices shall also be exempt from Health Cess.
10 KEY FEATURES – TAXATION & INVESTMENT
Let me summarize the 10 features of taxation and investment which are going to affect us
- Tax facilitation measures introduced — PAN linked to Aadhaar, reduction of direct tax litigation, faceless appeals and a charter for taxpayers (India will be the third country to have this).
- Reduction in rate of Tax Deduction at Source (TDS): In order to reduce litigation, it is proposed to reduce rate for TDS in case of fees for technical services (other than professional services) to 2% from existing 10% in order to align the same with the rate of TDS on works contract.
- The Debt-based Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) recently floated by the Govt. was a big success, so it will expand this by floating a new Debt-ETF consisting primarily of Govt. securities to act as an attractive investment for pension funds and long-term investors.
- The New Tax Regime (NTR) has been introduced
|Taxable Income Slab (Rs.)||Existing Tax Rates||New Tax Rates|
|Above 15 Lacs||30%||30%|
5. The Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) has been abolished for companies. Currently, companies are required to pay Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) on the dividend paid to its shareholders at the rate of 15% plus applicable surcharge and cess in addition to the tax payable by the company on its profits.
6. Currently, a taxpayer is required to fill the complete details of the donee in the ITR form for availing deduction. In order to ease the process of claiming a deduction for the donation, the ITR would be pre-filled with the donee’s information in taxpayer’s return on the basis of information of donations furnished by the donee to have a hassle-free claim of deduction for the donations made by the taxpayer.
7. The interchangeability of PAN and Aadhaar was introduced in the last budget and now to further ease the process of allotment of PAN, the Govt. will launch a system under which PAN shall be instantly allotted online on the basis of Aadhaar without any requirement for filling up of detailed application form.
8. TDS on E-commerce transactions: In order to widen and deepen the tax net, it is proposed to provide that e-commerce operator shall deduct TDS on all payments or credits to e-commerce participants at the rate of 1% in PAN/Aadhaar cases and 5% in non-PAN/Aadhaar cases. In order to provide relief to the small businessman, it is proposed to provide an exemption to an individual and HUF who receives less than Rs. 5 lakh and furnishes PAN/Aadhaar.
9. The alternate Janam Kundli as I fondly call it for all of us, the Form 26AS would be modified to include all the prescribed information relevant to the proposed changes in the budget.
10. The tax collection at source (TCS) on remittance under Liberalised Remittance Scheme of Reserve Bank of India exceeding Rs. 7 Lac in a year and on sale of overseas tour package has been notified to further widen the scope. So, dealers and companies offering the same to doctors under the garb of education will have to cough out a bigger amount.
Dr. Bhavdeep Ahuja
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