New Delhi, Feb 12 (PTI) BSP leader Satish Chandra Misra on Friday asked the government to remove the customs duty and other taxes on the import of radiation therapy machines used for the treatment of cancer patients.
While participating in the debate on the Union Budget in the Rajya Sabha, Misra said this move would help patients suffering from cancer as the machines would be imported at affordable prices by private players.
India records about 12 lakh new cases of cancer every year, Misra added.
Besides, the country has been witnessing around 5.5 lakh cancer-related deaths every year, which is even higher than the total mortality of 1.5 lakh from Covid-19 in India on which the government has spent more than Rs 35,000 crore for vaccines only, he said.
'Death due to cancer is increasing every year and according to a WHO report which is alarming, every one among 15 people in India faces the risk of cancer,' he said.
According to Misra, all machines used for radiation therapy are either imported from Sweden or the USA.
In the latest budget, customs duty on radiation machines has been increased and an overall 27.4 per cent taxes are being levied.
'The government has increased the tax to 27.4 per cent from 20 per cent, which include customs duty, health cess, social welfare and GST,' he said asking the government to look into this aspect as it would earn only Rs 120 crore by increasing these taxes.
This increased tax is deterring the setting up of radiation therapy machines and if the government waives it, then it would become affordable for the private sector, Misra said.
Abdul Wahab of IUML said the budget has failed to meet the aspirations of any section of the society and has not addressed any issues faced by the people of this country such as unemployment, small scale industries, and prices of the essential commodity. The budget has failed to give any attention to farmers, students, migrant labourers, minorities and backward communities, he said.
Wahab also raised the issue of allocation of funds for a campus of Aligarh Muslim University at Malappuram and difficulties faced by retired army personnel in getting One Rank One Pension (OROP), on which Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, who was present in the house, assured to look into the issue.
'OROP was pending for 30 to 40 years and the only person who was able to implement it is Narendra Modi. Thousands of crore rupees have been given to ex-servicemen,' Thakur said. PTI KRH KRH RDM RDM