PUNE: The finance minister has proposed a scheme to boost the manufacturing of medical devices in the country.
Currently, 70-80% of the country’s requirements are imported.
As part of the Union Budget 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that there would be a detailed scheme announced soon to promote manufacturing of mobile phones, electronics and semiconductor packaging in the country, and that this scheme could be extended to medical devices as well.
Rajiv Nath, forum coordinator, Association of Indian Medical Devices Industry hailed this move, saying that this would help boost local manufacturing.
Also read: FAQs on Medical Devices Rules, 2017
“There is huge potential for India in this space, and it can be the next big story for India after IT and pharma if concerns on tariffs, regulations and irrational MRP are taken care of,” he said.
Medical device companies too, have been lobbying to change certain policy norms which make it easier for local manufacturers.
Dr. GSK Velu – Chairman & Managing Director, Trivitron Healthcare, said, “Make in India initiative for Medical devices industry has been given a big boost.
Imposing of health cess on import of medical devices will help domestic manufacturing companies.
Further, using tax proceeds to fund the creation of healthcare infrastructure will help in address issues of capital requirements for building healthcare infra in Tier- I & II cities.”
Also read: Domestic medical devices to be promoted
Another budgetary proposal calls to tax imports of medical devices to fund the capacity building of healthcare delivery in public healthcare.
Nath said, “It’s an excellent idea to tax imports of medical devices to fund the capacity building of healthcare delivery in public healthcare & with twin advantage of Accelerating medical Devices Manufacturing as a MakeinIindia enabler so that Indian National Healthcare security concerns are addressed…We look forward to read the fine print but unless the import tax is 10-15% up from current 0-7.5% it may not be that impactful.”