The government should not raise import duty on medical devices as it could be detrimental to the health care sector of the country, industry body CII said today.
Apprehending a rise in import duty on medical devices in the forthcoming Budget, CII Chairman of Medical Technology Division, Pavan Choudhary said, "The increase could be detrimental to the health care sector as it will not only hurt patients but also will shrink the booming market.".
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Imports account for 80% of medical devices industry in the country.
"Medical devices produced domestically are of very basic nature, and the major ones are all imported. So any increase in taxes will increase the price which will hurt the general public the most," he said while speaking at a CII event.
The industry body has also asked the government to correct inverted duty in the sector where in some specific segment duties on raw material is higher than the finished product.
CII Medical Technology Division, Member Probir Das said, "Tariff regime cannot promote Make In India where the manufacturers have to depend on imported raw materials."
He added, "Not a single country can say that they are self sufficient of every raw materials and we are so behind them. If we want to manufacture devices domestically, we need to get the components and a higher duty will only hinder this."
The body has also asked the government to provide fiscal incentives and tax holiday to new companies to promote the sector and build an innovation fund.
"Like the IT sector was provided with tax sops in the initial years which led to the IT revolution in the country the government should also take such steps to promote this sector in the country," Choudhary said.