The interim Budget presented by Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, highlighted the government’s forward thinking strategy — from Agriculture Accelerator Funds, sustainable practices, push for innovation in start-ups, raising sectors including healthcare. Further, introduction of bio-manufacturing scheme aligns with the government’s commitment to environmental responsibility and provides impetus to green manufacturing.

The Agriculture Accelerator Fund to boost agri-startups, marks a pivotal step in nurturing agri-innovation, particularly among young entrepreneurs in rural areas. The fund is set to catalyse inventive solutions, addressing farmers’ challenges and infusing modern technologies to revolutionise agricultural practices. This initiative aligns seamlessly with our commitment to the holistic development of the agriculture sector.

In a stride towards green growth, the 2024 Budget has introduced a groundbreaking scheme for bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry. This initiative not only emphasises environmental consciousness but also signifies a holistic approach to fostering a greener and more prosperous agricultural landscape. The concurrent emphasis on biodegradable solutions, coupled with the Agriculture Accelerator Fund, sets the stage for a sustainable future in agriculture.”

The Budget’s commitment to medical research takes centre stage with the opening of select ICMR lbs for collaborative research. This move encourages innovation by bringing together public and private medical college faculty and private sector R&D teams. Simultaneously, the initiation of a pharmaceutical innovation programme through centres of excellence reflects the government’s dedication to propel the pharmaceutical sector toward new horizons. In recognising the pivotal role of entrepreneurship, the 2024 Budget highlights India’s position as the third-largest ecosystem for start-ups globally.

The interim Budget champions the empowerment of start-ups, propelling India’s entrepreneurial environment forward. The 1-lakh crore for loans to encourage private sectors to scale up research and innovation in the sunrise sectors shows the assurance to encourage entrepreneurship in the country. The extension of the date of incorporation for income tax benefits and the benefit of carrying forward losses on a change of shareholding for start-ups to ten years underscore the government’s commitment to foster a conducive environment for innovative ventures.

In a far-reaching move for public health, the Budget has turned the focus on cervical cancer prevention, with a focus on women aged 21-24. This underscores our commitment to prioritising healthcare and marks a comprehensive approach to public well-being. The emphasis on preventive measures aligns with our dedication to advancing health solutions and addressing critical health issues proactively. As we navigate a future of growth, the 2024 Budget emerges as a forward-thinking force. Unveiling transformative initiatives across agriculture, healthcare and innovation, this Budget sets the stage for a more resilient and vibrant future for our nation. It marks a comprehensive approach to unlocking potential and shaping a transformative chapter in India’s growth story.

(Dr Krishna Ella is Executive Chairman, Bharat Biotech)