Healthcare Tech Industry Body Seeks Cut In Customs Duty, Removal Of Health Cess On Medical Devices
MTaI said the high customs duty has adversely impacted the costs of medical devices in India and it should be reduced to 2.5%.
Ahead of the Budget, Medical Technology Association of India on Wednesday urged the government to reduce customs duties and removal of health cess on imported medical devices.
MTaI, which represents medical technology companies, appreciated the various reforms undertaken by the government during the previous year, but said that more was needed to be done as 80% of the medical devices used are imported.
MTaI Chairman and Director General Pavan Choudary said the customs duties and taxes levied on medical devices in India are one of the highest in the world and highest among the neighbouring countries which directly impacts patients' affordability.
"As the preparation for the Union Budget 2023 gets underway, we expect a correction in the customs duties and taxes levied on medical devices," Choudary said.
The sector, he added, requires more focus in government outlays and one way to achieve this is by increasing the public health spending to meet the current gaps in healthcare demand and supply. He also suggested the government should consider a separate budget allocation for promoting and marketing medical device sector globally.
MTaI said the high customs duty has adversely impacted the costs of medical devices in India and it should be reduced to 2.5%. Also, the 5% health cess ad valorem imposed on imported medical devices has further compounded the burden on the industry and should be removed.
There is a need for focused increase in public spending on health infrastructure especially in Tier 2, Tier 3 cities and rural areas, MTaI added.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will unveil the Budget for 2023-24 on Feb. 1.