By Dr. Sanchit Sharma,
As Ayurveda takes over the world as an alternate system of treatment and medication, the Ayurveda sector in India eyes the Union Budget 2022 for a probable push towards better Research and Development of the ancient science of life. Ayurveda has been providing holistic solutions to ailments, physical and mental, for ages, but notable progress on the science has been made only in the last decade.
With the influence of biomedicine, Ayurveda has furthered itself towards medicalization. Standardization and professionalization of Ayurveda through practice and application at the community, individuals, and healthcare providers level has further contributed to enhancing the Ayurvedic sector. Despite the progress, leveraging the Herbal, AYUSH, and the Nutraceutical Industry’s domestic and export potential is yet another thing. The industrial outcome pertaining to meeting such demands may not come without a generous consideration from the government.
Ayurveda as Alternative Medicine System
The understanding of health in Ayurveda is based on adaptive feedback, which each person establishes with the environment. It is more than a biological process involving mind and body fitness. Ayurveda today has prospered as an alternative medication even for people with critical illnesses. It has largely been helpful for people with chronic debilitating conditions to take medications under conditions of critical care.
Besides mentioned properties, with the intervention of Ayurveda in routine lives, people have subscribed to the notion of enhanced immunity with regular use. The science of “from the plants to the plates” has effectively changed the notion of health, which was seen as “the absence of disease” by healthcare providers. The emphasis is instead on the constant “state of living,” which Ayurveda continually expands on.
Ayurveda under Government’s Push
In the face of the global health crisis, the NDA government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has propounded the idea of combating Covid-19 with the holistic human science, Ayurveda. It has commendable and wholesome therapeutic properties as a practicable alternative healthcare system. Now that we know the importance of natural immunity, the need for Ayurveda, its practice, and its application has been all the more lucid to us. In the fourth chapter of the Global Ayurveda Festival held last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated the goodness and impact of Ayurveda and traditional medication. Mr. Modi also emphasized the importance of integrating Ayurveda with evidence-based medical science at the Festival.
Previously, the Government has undertaken popular surveys on people’s familiarity with Ayurveda through the ministry of AYUSH. Moreover, the Government has been promoting the sale of Ayurvedic medicine through Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) at various outlets across the country.
Budget Estimates for Ayurveda 2022
Last year, the Ayurvedic Sector requested Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to announce a GST waiver on products with a license (a maximum of 5% on supplements and nil on Ayurvedic products), enabling customers to buy over-the-counter Ayurvedic medicines at lower prices. In the prior budget, the sector was anticipating that it would be focused on Research and Development and Innovation.
One of the agendas of the Association of Herbal and Nutraceutical Manufacturers of India (AHNMI) was the establishment of a cross-ministerial task force under a Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, which would also be a stepping stone to make nutraceuticals into $25 billion industry by 2030. A separate budget for the manufacture, procurement, and marketing of Ayurvedic medicine is expected in 2022. Boosting Ayurvedic medicine in line with the Atmanirbhar Bharat vision of PM Narendra Modi is also foreseen.
To ensure sustainability for the Ayurveda industries to compete with world leaders, the 2022 budget is a vital aspect of the sector. From the pioneers of Research in Ayurveda to healthcare providers, the 2022 budget would create a unique ecosystem that makes the science of Ayurveda more acceptable to the masses.
(The author is Founder & M.D., Ayouthveda. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)