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Exempt medical devices from GST
May, 28th 2010

Industry body Ficci on May 27 demanded exemption to medical devices from the proposed GST to save national productivity loss estimated at Rs 10 lakh crore in ten years to 2025 from diabetes and heart disease.

"There is a need to look into extending Goods and Service Tax (proposed) exemptions to critical medical devices with a process of revisiting every year to accommodate technology advancement and changing disease patterns," the chamber said.

The GST would subsumes various duties like service tax and excise duty. Ficci said the country may lose Rs 10 lakh crore, a fifth of its current GDP, between 2015-25.   
Non-communicable heart disease, stroke and diabetes is expected to double in the 30-year period from 29 per cent in 1990 to 57 per cent in 2020, it said.

The Indian medical device industry characterised by over 60 per cent import is stifled due to fiscal anomalies.

on May 27, the tariff structure is such that the duty on components and raw material is higher than a finished product for devices such as Stent and Coronary systems, it said.

Medical devices equip health care providers with tools to perform their functions and are considered to be crucial for the services offered in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disease.

Ficci said that healthcare sector is one of the large and fast growing sectors in India with an annual turnover of Rs 1,71,000 crore with 10-12 per cent annual growth rate.

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