Customs duty cut, shot-in-arm for medical device makers

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 01, 2011


Indian manufacturers of medical devices, including syringes, needles, catheters and cannulae got a huge relief with the Finance Minister lowering customs duty on key raw material.

The move gives them a level playing field with importers and a cushion against rising input costs.

Concessional import duty regime of 5 per cent basic customs duty (reduced from 7 per cent), 5 per cent CVD (10 per cent at present) and nil SAD (4 per cent currently) has been prescribed on specified raw material for the manufacture of these devices.

However, this will have no impact on the retail price for consumers as the industry was already reeling under high input cost of plastic and rubber.

“We are planning to increase the price of syringes and needles because the cost of plastic and rubber had gone up. But now the reduction in customs duty will somewhat offset that.

So while there is no scope for price reduction it will help us in competing with imported goods especially those from China,” said Mr Rajiv Nath, Forum Co-ordinator, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry.

In the recent past a number of local players had stopped production and started importing due to the anomaly in duty structure. For example 40 per cent of the syringes used in India is imported according to AIMED. This is expected to change now.

“There has been reduction in custom duty on components for manufacture of medical devices which is good for the industry. This will support more indigenous manufacturing,” said Mr Himanshu Baid, MD, Poly Medicure Ltd.

The Government has also fully waived 5 per cent customs duty on endovascular stents.

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Published on March 01, 2011
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