By Laxmi Devi
Bengaluru, Feb 11 The government has removed anomalies in the duty structure to boost manufacturing of medical devices, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar said today.
He also announced setting up of a pharma-cum-medtech zone near Bangalore, while noting that a proposal to create a separate pharma ministry is under active consideration of the PMO.
Further, the minister assured the industry a transparent and predictable drug price regime and called upon the companies to provide quality drugs at affordable rates to all section of the society.
"I would like to thank Prime Minister and Finance Minister for correction of inverted duty structure to give level playing field to medical devices sector. It is a big thing. It has already been done," Kumar said addressing the three-day 'India Pharma 2017' event organised by the central government along with industry body Ficci here.
An inverted duty structure impacts the domestic industry adversely as inputs and raw materials are taxed at a higher rate than import duty on finished products.
The medical industry had been demanding removal of duty anomalies for many years. (More)That apart, Kumar said that the government has launched
e-portal for registration of pharma companies.
Stating that India is ready for major transformation, the Minister said, "We want to make India pharmacy of the world. Our market size is USD 32 billion. We are going to be a USD 55 billion industry by 2020."
The pharma sector has huge potential and there is a greater need to create a separate pharma ministry, he said.
"The pharma department was established in 1960 in the Defence Ministry. Later, it was shifted to petroleum ministry and now it is part of the Fertiliser, Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ministry. From here, we will become full-fledged ministry," he said.
On regulation of drugs and their prices, the Minister said, "...I...Assure there will be transparency and fair play. ...We have not changed the goal post so far."
The government will ensure transparent and predicable drug price regime and asked companies to focus on providing quality drugs at affordable rates, he said.
Union Ministers Nirmal Sitharaman and Sadananda Gowda and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, State Industry Ministry R V Deshpande and Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash Rudrappa were among those present attending the event.
Over 250 exhibitors, buyers from 15 countries, and international regulators from six nations are participating in the event.
Speaking at the event, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government has included medical devices sector as one of the priority 25 sectors under 'Make In India' programme.
There is a need to tap the potential in medical devices sector and foreign investors are showing more interest now, she said.
"We cannot afford to have Rs 24,000 crore worth of import of medical devices, instead we have to manufacture them here. We need to tap the immediate potential that India has," the minister said.
India needs to produce medical devices at a cost competitive way that the country can export in future, she said.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that the state government has evolved a host of strategies, as part of the New Industry Policy 2014-19.
"The state is proposing to constitute separate vision groups for pharmaceutical sector and medical device segment to guide on further promotion of these two promising sectors," he said.
These vision groups would be headed by experts in respective sectors, he added.
On India's dependency on import of medical devices, the CM said, "There is mismatch between the design of certain technologies being imported and realities of clinical conditions and healthcare infrastructure in India."
There is a need for sophisticated devices and equipments to provide accurate treatment to people, he said, adding that India has much to gain from effective use of advanced medical technology.
Stating that there is "very low" investment on health care by the government, he said: "The onus is on private sector to expand and capitalize on the market."
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds.