To boost domestic manufacturing, a key trade promotion organisation has recommended that the government increase the import duty on medical devices in a graded manner.

The Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) of India has recommended this step to the government for the upcoming Budget 2020-21.

The council said that India is heavily import-dependent for medical devices and that post-GST, the cost of imports for traders was reduced by approx 10 per cent as GST is creditable.

“A level playing field has to be provided to domestic manufacturers, since countries like China provide export subsidy and other facilities to encourage exports,” the EEPC said in its recommendation.

“As a precautionary measure for not impacting supply of the said products in domestic market, graded increase on the basis of proven international competitiveness and undisputed production capability is suggested.”

Besides, the council called upon the government to reduce GST on bicycles and parts from 12 per cent to 5 per cent with input tax credit.

“Eighty per cent bicycles are priced below Rs 5,000 and are mostly owned or used by the economically weaker sections,” it said.

The council added that the government should harness the potential of bicycles as an environment-friendly mobility option and make it more affordable to the poor and rural populace.