New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday proposed to impose a nominal health cess on import of medical equipment to boost the domestic medical devices sector and generate resources for health services.
In her second Budget speech, Sitharaman said till a few years back India was dependent on imports for medical equipment. Now, not only is the country manufacturing medical equipment but also exporting them in large quantities.
Stating that this sector deserves further fillip, she said the government is committed to provide health services to all and Ayushman Bharat has made it possible. "To achieve the twin objectives of giving impetus to the domestic industry and also to generate resource for health services, I propose to impose a nominal health cess, by way of a duty of customs, on the imports of medical equipment keeping in view that these goods are now being made significantly in India," Sitharaman said.
The proceeds from this cess shall be used for creating infrastructure for health services in the aspirational districts, she added. "Our policy of Make in India has started giving dividends. India is now making world class goods and exporting such products," Sitharaman said.