A 23-page document laying out guidelines for the promotion of medical devices parks in India released on July 27 has elicited cautious support from industry associations. The scheme initially approved on March 20 gives further clarity on the stimulus package for the medical devices sector.
With a total financial outlay of Rs 400 crore, the scheme will support four medical device parks, with a maximum grant-in-aid for each capped at Rs 100 crore. The duration of the scheme is from FY 2020-2021 to FY 2024-2025. The scheme envisages providing common testing and laboratory facilities which will hopefully reduce manufacturing cost significantly.
In line with Prime Minister Modi’s call for an Atmanirbhar Bharat, the scheme released by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, is positioned as a pragmatic balance between the current reality of the sector being up to 86 per cent import-dependent and the need to encourage local production of medical devices.
Welcoming the announcement of the medical device parks and production linked incentives (PLI) schemes, Pavan Choudary, Chairman and Director General, Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI) commented, “These schemes are targeted to promote manufacturing of medical devices in India which are competitive in quality as well as cost and help contribute to achieve Atmanirbharta in medtech. These are also aimed at attracting global innovators as well as large domestic companies from allied industries to invest in MedTech.”
Hailing the PLI scheme as the need of the hour and a step in the right direction, CII Medical Technology Chair, Himanshu Baid, MD, Polymedicure observed that basis the objective evaluation criteria for selection of beneficiary entities, the scheme is sure to lure the bigger MNC players into investing in India.
The CII release goes on to state that the medical device sector looks forward to fulfillment of the planned investment goals of Rs 77,900 crore with generation of employment for over 2.5 lakh personnel.
CII membership is keen that the future editions of the scheme may include an expanded list of target segments, especially export-oriented development of low-hanging fruits such as in-vitro diagnostic medical devices and specialised consumable/ disposable devices for which the country already has technological know-how.
The CII release also indicates that the industry looks forward to extension of the scheme to brownfield projects, especially in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic leading manufacturers to shift base and possibly move existing product lines into India.