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Telangana govt asks centre to slash GST on medical devices

Stressing the need to strengthen the medical devices industry in India, Telangana Industries Minister K T Rama Rao (KTR) urged the Government of India (GoI) to take favorable action on issues faced by the medical devices industry.

In a letter, addressed to Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal , Rao stated that the 20th anniversary edition of BioAsia concluded successfully in February this year. He said that a roundtable meeting on medical devices was conducted as part of the event. The roundtable was attended by CEOs and association representatives where the participants raised their concerns and suggested effective measures useful to the medical devices industry.

In his letter, minister KTR has included all the key points put forth by the medical devices sector leaders at the BioAsia 2023.

The key points mentioned by the Industries Minister in the letter were GST implication, import substitution and increased self-reliance – Inverted Duty Structures impacting Make in India, inadequate testing and certification infrastructure, availability of raw material and supply chain challenges.

Citing the concerns raised, KTR said that currently, in addition to the custom duty, even GST on spare parts of medical equipment is charged at a higher rate than the equipment itself, which adversely impacts the costs of medical devices in India and contradicts the Government’s efforts to provide low-cost healthcare to the masses.

Additionally, he said, there is no refund on GST in healthcare. “Medical devices are not luxury items and it is extremely important to recognize that devices / diagnostics will be critical to make healthcare accessible for all. In this connection, I urge the Government of India to review and reduce GST on medical devices to the extent of 12 per cent and on diagnostics to the extent of 5 per cent as against 18 per cent currently levied,” the Industries Minister appealed.

The minister said that the global medical devices market is already USD 520 Billion and the Indian market is among the top 20 in the world by size and fourth largest in Asia after Japan, China and South Korea. KTR said that the opportunity is significant as the industry is growing at more than 15 per cent CAGR.

“Inverted duty structure as of today is not conducive to local medical device manufacturing as there are certain segments where it is more viable to import products than manufacture in India. There are instances where import duty is levied on raw materials and not on finished goods.

Therefore, I request the Government of India to review and correct inverted import duty structures and barriers to manufacture in India to encourage Make in India to reduce import dependence,” KTR added.

Elaborating on other issues faced by the medical devices industry, the Minister KTR requested GoI to consider streamlining of approvals for domestically manufactured medical consumables, which are generic versions of international products that are being sold for several years. United News of India

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