NEW DELHI: Apex Healthcare Industry body NATHEALTH has urged the Central government to withdraw imposition of a cess on customs duties for import of Medical Technologies.
NATHEALTH pointed out that ‘Make in India’ program has to be built on a broader vision that builds demand and supply-side incentives through a longer-term policy framework to spur long term investments.
According to a NATHEALTH statement, “While there is a stated need to build new infrastructure, India should earmark direct infrastructure funds out of Government’s healthcare spend and not tax medical equipment which are essential components for affordable healthcare.”
“This move affects consumers, providers and a significant category of medical equipment manufacturers. This is an across the board cess in all imports and it will not lead to local manufacturing for some medical equipment categories and hence increase healthcare costs,” said NATHEALTH Secretary General Siddhartha Bhattacharya.
It further urged the government to retract this move keeping in mind the sectorial need for investments, long term policy stability and affordability of healthcare under Ayushman Bharat.