New Delhi, Mar 1: Expressing disappointment over the Union budget, a medical device manufacturing body today claimed that nothing has been done in it to reduce the “humongous” import dependency in this sector. “I am highly disappointed that despite much hype about ‘Make-in-India’ where medical device was one of the flagship sectors to realize this mission, the budget has done nothing specific to boost manufacturing of medical device in the country or reduce our humongous import dependency in this sector,” Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator of Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AIMED) said.

Although the focus on enhanced healthcare facilities for rural population and medical insurance for senior citizens is laudable, the Association would have been happier if some concrete steps were announced to bring down overall healthcare cost, he said. “The overall push or stimulus for manufacturing has suddenly disappeared into thin air,” the Association alleged. (Also Read: Union Budget 2016; Budget reflects a negativity for middle class says Robert Vadra)

Nath said that if the government is serious about ‘Make- in-India’, it can still include some demands of “our industry which will go a long way in making medical device industry internationally competitive and world class.” “These include withdrawal of concessional duty notification of basic duty and special additional duty of medical devices, 10 per cent basic duty on HS 90.27 and HS 30.06 (mainly diagnostics – equipment & reagents), reduction of duty on raw materials to produce these devices and diagnostics to 2.5 per cent,” he said. The Association said that the government is aware that three mega medical device parks are coming up ? in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat and said “If we do not provide appropriate budgetary and regulatory support, who will invest there? And even if investment comes, how will they become commercially viable?