With the Indian Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee set to submit his budget on July 6, 2009, The Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AIMED) is expecting that some measures would come through to safeguard the interest of the vastly potential medical device sector, according to pharmabiz.com.
The medical device market which is currently mainly import dependent needs a special focus and infrastructure development status at least for the next four years. In order to make the Indian industry globally competitive, there is a need for a holistic development and to regulate the industry for which Inter-ministerial coordination is required between the Ministries of health, finance and science and technology, AIMED principal forum coordinator Rajiv Nath said.
AIMED has initiated the formation of a new Medical Export Promotion Council to promote export and to check custom impasse on the border. It recommended that the name of Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council should be changed into Medical Export Promotion Council for enabling the inclusion of lab ware, diagnostics and medical tourism with medical devices. Medical devices are not medicines, so it should be treated as a separate industry.
AIMED had appealed to the government for the abolition of List 37 which consists 111 medical and surgical instruments and appliances. Abolition of List 37 will encourage development of domestic medical device industry.
According to this List, duty on import of components is higher than imported finished devices. This marks a huge loss for the indigenous industry and inhibits growth of Indian manufacturers. Importation of Blood Collection Tube (BCT), used for collection of blood for testing, attracts a custom duty of 7.5% while import of components i.e. glass tube and cap fall under custom duty at 10% which is higher than the finished product. In order to develop the indigenous market, the rate of custom duty on BCT as finished product must be increased from 7.5% to over 10% and custom duty on imported components should be reduced from 10% to 5%, the association said.