New Delhi: Indigenous medical device industry has been left to lick its wounds by the decision of government of India to reduce duty on import of Masks, Ventilators and PPE to nil. Association of Indian Medical Device (AIMeD) industry doubts that import lobby will misuse COVID crisis as a ploy to take medical device market in India in its vice like grip. It imputes this wrong on CII & FICCI, saying they have back stabbed on Make in India efforts.
Rajiv Nath, Coordinator, AIMed, is, though not against imports of these devices, not in favour of reducing duty to nil. Mr Nath said, ‘ Highly disappointed to know that GoI will be reducing duty on Masks ventilator & PPE to Nil, which was already there in case of gloves. Once again India acts against Make in India at behest of Imports lobby. In doing so the govt has failed to realise that consumers are protected by MRP not by duties. Neither we neither allow components to be made in country nor finished products with this short cut approach
Rajiv Nath of Dispovan fame says, ‘ Had the Mfr of masks & PPE not battered by low cost imports from China, they would have had the profitability to modernise, automate , expand capabilities and capacity to be globally competitive. A robust domestic industry would have been better able to take challenges of imports supply chain disruptions.’
Mr Nath goes on saying, ‘In case of Ventilators the 11 Manufacturers that we have could have possibly been 20 if preowned imports that constitute 30-40% of markets were not allowed ; these 10-11 could have been possibly more than double their size & India possibly would not have needed to push panic buttons to call in auto makers to fill in.’
‘Medical Devices like Masks get cheaper for Consumers when MRP is reduced not when Duty is reduced . Who asked for prices to be regulated and MRP to be capped – AiMeD ; who is asking for MRP of N95 Masks to be capped ? AiMeD’s Masks Manufacturers & Dealers
Has Ficci & Cii ever asked for MRP to be capped ? They only lobby for duty reductions and once precedence is set they ask for next item to be added,’ he added.
‘Are you aware that if one imports gloves from Malaysia the duty is zero but if same person buys from a glove factory in Indian SEZ it’s 11% duty ! Why doesn’t Govt reduce duty of gloves to Zero from SEZ to give level playing field to glove manufacturers there?,’ Mr Nath adds.
‘We are not against imports- we ourselves told Govt the capacity limitations and arrange imports of PPE but that doesn’t mean that imports should come in to undermine make in India efforts’