Mr Ajay G. Piramal, Chairman, Nicholas Piramal India
The Finance Minister has presented a positive Budget that further encourages economic growth and investment, while keeping in mind developmental initiatives.
For the pharmaceuticals sector, extension of 150 per cent weighted deduction on R&D expenditure till 2007 is welcome, although we believe that this should have been longer-term, given the nature of investment in research work.
Overseas clinical trials and global patent filing expenses should also qualify for weighted deduction.
The Budget has belied the industry's hope of lower excise duty. But I am pleased with the Government's commitment to implementation of VAT and am sure that it will take suitable measures to remove transitional difficulties being faced by trade.
The Finance Minister's emphasis on `Outcomes vs. Outlays' sets a positive result orientation to such policy initiatives. We hope that this will also mean better deployment of the pharmaceuticals research fund corpus.
I rate the Budget 7.5 on a scale of 10.