Slash import duty on medical equipment raw material: FICCI

Diana J. Smith

New Delhi: FICCI has recommended import duty rationalisation for raw materials of medical equipment to encourage indigenous manufacturing.

It has also sought import duty cut for the medical equipment which are not produced in the country.

In a statement, the industry body noted that the quality medical devices not currently available in the country must not face high duties, which will result in high cost of care and will further add burden to the healthcare economy.

It noted that import duty rationalisation needs to be done based on “products currently not manufactured in India, technology intensive products which require a lead time of three or more years to develop, high on investment and lower sales volumes and used in diagnosis or treatment of priority disease area.”

FICCI also said that health cess on largely indispensable imports of medical devices are only adding to the high healthcare infrastructure cost for patients that is largely funded by out-of-pocket expenses.

It has also recommended basic customs duty to be reduced to 0 per cent to promote medical equipment, assemblies and parts manufacturing in India.

“Exports being the growth engine for the economy, it is important that efforts should be made to make it competitive in the international market. If we take a look at the India’s export performance in recent past, there has been a continuous decline and also impacting balance of trade,” it said.

Direct tax exemption for the export profits would attract investment to export competitive sectors and will provide impetus to the sector, the FICCI statement added.

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