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No Major Steps for Medical Devices Sector in Budget: Industry

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New Delhi: The budget has not initiated any major steps for the import-dependent medical devices sector to give a fillip to the Centre's 'Make in India' campaign, though it has addressed several macro issues facing the sector as a whole, the industry has said.

"...nothing has been done for the heavily import dependent medical devices industry which is the fourth pillar of healthcare sector like medical education, health delivery and pharmaceuticals industry," Trivitron Group of Companies Founder and Managing Director GSK Velu said.

He, however, said the budget has addressed several macro issues and focussed on the health sector by providing disposable income to the public for healthcare expenses.

The medical devices industry imports over Rs 27,000 crore worth of medical devices and nothing specific has been done to push up the Prime Minister's "Make in India" initiative in this Industry, he added.

BD India MD Varun Khanna said that after the announcement of 100 per cent FDI in medical devices through the automatic route, the new budget proposals such as reduction in duties on the raw materials will reverse the inverted duty structure.

He also said that proposed sequential reduction in the corporate tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent over 4 years would also encourage investment in the healthcare sector.

Poly Medicure MD Himanshu Baid said, "While ease of doing business and obtaining regulatory clearances expeditiously is what is very motivating for the healthcare industry...What I expected from the budget is some incentives on medical manufacturing which has not been mentioned about."

The sector was expecting announcement of tax holiday for medical technology companies who were to set up new manufacturing plants and announcement of medical technology manufacturing hubs with single window clearance for ease of manufacturing, he added.

"There are no specific announcements on innovation and R&D for this sector and if this trend continues we will be importing more than Rs 50,000 crore of medical devices in the next three to four years time," Velu said.

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