As Finance Minister ArunJaitley will table the Union Budget 2015-16 on February 28, people across industries are having high hopes from the NarendraModi government and are also laying down their demands. The $5 billion Indian Medical Device Industry has urged the government to implement to take steps to save it from decimation.
Forum coordinator of AIMED and Jt Managing Director of Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices Ltd (HMD) Rajiv Nath urged the Finance Minister to rationalise the inverted duty structure which has been a major reason for increasing country’s import dependency in medical devices and ruining domestic manufacturing.
1) Rationalisation of inverted duty structure: Creating parity between imported devices and domestically manufactured devices by having a rationalised duty structure. Duty structure is currently heavily tilted in favour of imports.
2) Consumer protection from artificial price hike: Making it mandatory for all imported goods to declare their MRPs and to levy 1 per cent excise duty on MRPs so that there is transparency in pricing and tendency to artificially increase prices is checked.
3) Buy India policy: India should adopt a preferential purchase policy for domestically manufactured goods in all public healthcare systems in sync with practices followed in China, USA etc.
4) Foreign Direct Investment: No FDI in Brownfield projects and limiting it to 40 per cent in Greenfields with obligations to produce at least 60 per cent of goods sold within India. Must to reduce import dependency and realize PM’s vision of ‘Make in India’.
5) Separate Law Book, Separate Rule Book and Separate Regulatory Body for Medical Devices: For long medical devices has been governed by the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act which has inhibited the growth of medical devices. AIMED has long been demanding a separate department and separate statute for medical devices so that this sector can really take off.
Nath also cautioned the government to ensure that large business policy advocacy platforms like CII and FICCI or even the Ministry of Health do not become a vehicle for influencing anti-people and pro-MNCs policies.
He also outlined positive and pro-active policy measures like “Buy India Policy” to encourage domestic manufacturing to realise the vision of PM Modi and would be very much in sync with the policy pursued by many countries including China and US to protect domestic industries.
He apprised Jaitley of the long standing demand of medical device industry to have its own separate regulatory body and set of laws.
“For medical device industry to flourish in India, we need separate rule book, separate law book and a separate regulatory body,” said Nath while adding that the Health Ministry can continue to be the presiding ministry but medical devices can no longer be governed by the same set of rules and legislations which govern drugs and cosmetics.