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'Disappointing budget for medical devices sector'

Chennai, Feb 1 (IANS) The Union Budget for 2023-24 is a disappointing one for the Indian medical devices industry as the expectations and assurances given earlier have not been fulfilled, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD) Forum Coordinator Rajiv Nath said on Wednesday.

According to him, the FY24 budget has given a cold shoulder to the domestic medical devices industry.

The only positive announcement was plans for skilling of manpower for manufacturing of medical technologies, he said.

“It is highly disheartening that against industry’s expectations and assurance by the various government departments, the government has not announced any measures to help end the 80-85 per cent import dependence forced upon India and an ever-increasing import bill of over Rs 63,200 crore,” Nath said.

Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges India to become Atmanirbhar in medical devices, the medical devices imports continued to grow at an “alarming” level by 41 per cent in FY22. India imported medical devices worth Rs 63,200 crore in 2021-22, up 41 per cent from Rs 44,708 crore in 2020-21, as per data from the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Nath said.

He said, sadly, the government didn’t even implement the recommendations made by the Parliamentary Committee on Health.

“If the government implements even 70 per cent of the recommendations, we could have seen a reversal on the import dependence and growth of the domestic industry,” he added.



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