Industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has suggested that foreign direct investment (FDI) regime be liberalised for investment relating to medical education. In its Pre-Budget memorandum, FICCI has also called on the government for providing relief on import duty for lifesaving equipment. Healthcare organisations should be allowed to leverage FDI for setting up colleges and training centres for healthcare professionals and for specialist training, it noted in its Pre-Budget Memorandum.
Delhi-based FICCI has based this demand on the strong need for a liberalised FDI regime for investments relating to medical education and training, to bridge the huge demand-supply gap and meet global norms.
FICCI has also asked for import duty relief for importing lifesaving equipment. The industry body said there are several anomalies involved in the current classification of lifesaving equipment leading to variations in import duties for similar set of products. Hence, in such cases, there is a need to revisit the classification in order to make the import duty on lifesaving equipment consistently low or even exempt lifesaving equipment from duty completely to ensure lower cost of healthcare services delivery to the common man, it added in its pre-Budget memorandum.
FICCI has also called for providing tax incentives to domestic manufacturers of medical devices.
"The Indian market would be more attractive to global manufacturers once tax rates are liberalised along with measures taken to improve ease of doing business," FICCI added.
The industry body has called for creating health infrastructure fund and medical innovation fund for providing access to funding by creating a specific fund for healthcare infrastructure and innovation would facilitate access to capital for the industry.
These funds would encourage entrepreneurship and newer business models which are the need of the hour for improving access, availability and quality, especially in Tier 2, Tier 3 and rural areas, FICCI noted in its Pre-Budget memorandum.