Policy Matter

Commerce ministry working to attract $50 bn FDI in medical devices

The department of industrial policy & promotion (DIPP), ministry of commerce & industry, is now working to attract at least $50 billion worth investments into the medical devices sector. In the case of pharmaceuticals, the department has seen keen interest from global drug companies to set up R&D centres within India’s pharma parks and clusters besides other locations.

To support a robust investment activity in the pharmaceuticals space, the IPR think tank under the DIPP initiative is unveiling the IPR policy within three months, DIPP secretary Amitabh Kant told Pharmabiz.medical-devices

Currently, the country imports 70 per cent of the medical devices and we intend to reverse this, the DIPP secretary, who was in Bengaluru recently, said “If India has to grow then its manufacturing has to grow by 13 per cent from the current 7 per cent. We need millions of companies to drive this initiative. FDI up to 100 per cent, under the automatic route is permitted for manufacturing of medical devices. This would mean attracting both greenfield as well as brownfield projects. The government is working towards less paper work, speedy decisions and a stable tax regime to convince investors that the investment environment is conducive. India is already globally recognised in the area of information technology and specifically software development which is expected to spur medical device manufacture,” he added.

“We have clearly realised that India is an important part of the global supply chain. To this effect, we opened sectors like the railways, insurance, telecom and medical devices which is clubbed under medicine. The big advantage for India is the presence of leading global players like GE, Siemens and Philips. It is high time other medical devices companies relocate to India because this country has its inherent strengths in innovation and design. India no doubt can be a centre for frugal engineering innovation. Taking a cue from already invested world class companies like GE which manufactures an ECG for a mere $1,500 as against US cost of production for the same device at $15,000 indicates the economies-of-scale,” said the DIPP secretary.

Issues of doing business are being ironed out. We are opening up states to grab and attract potential investors. In fact, Karnataka is ideally positioned to garner a fair share of the promising prospects. Innovation is rated on the scale of 9 out 10 in this state. This is because energy of innovation is intense for both innovation and design that prevails in Karnataka, he said.

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