Local medical device cos bat for 15% import duty

Domestic medical device makers say the government should consider levying up to 15% import duty in a bid to reduce dependence on inbound shipments.

“It’s disheartening to note that imports are still on an increasing uptrend of over 21% over the last 12 months at ₹61,000 crore compared to ₹50,000 crore in the same period of preceding 12 months,” said Rajiv Nath, forum coordinator, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry.

He said that the government should review the steep 33% increase in imports from the US of ₹1,0858 crore over ₹8,186 crore in 2021-22, Germany up at ₹6,188 crore from ₹4,855 crore in 2022, by a steep 27%. Imports from the Netherlands also increased by 20% to ₹3,552 crore in 2022-23 from ₹2,956 crore in 2021-22, whereas imports from China increased by 11% at ₹10,384 crore in 2022-23 from ₹9,374 crore in 2021-22 and Singapore by 15% from ₹4,800 crore to ₹5,520 crore.”

The industry expects an increase in Custom duty to a nominal 10-15% duty and a predictable tariff policy, correction of inverted duty by levying health cess of 5% Custom duty on balance medical devices (this was not earlier applied to all HS Codes) in the Budget.

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Roy Walsh

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