Diagnostics equipment at 18% GST undesirable, says AIMED

While the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AIMED) says the prices for most medical devices will not be impacted under the new scheme, it has asked the govt to address the grey areas

New Delhi: “The GST Council headed by Union Finance Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, needs to be congratulated for doing a speedy work on fixing the rate slabs of various goods and services for the new GST regime to be rolled out on the First Day of July 2017. The lead time will help get clarifications on grey areas and will also give time to the government to reconsider and tweak various tax slabs in the larger interest of economy and citizens,” mentioned the statement from Mr Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AIMeD).
The association believes that since most of the medical devices have been put in the 12% slab, it sees little or no impact on the prices of devices.
However, it has demanded the review on the 18% tax slab over the diagnostics. “Putting diagnostic reagents and equipment as well items like operation tables, beds, operating chairs, dental chairs and non woven like drapes and masks etc in 18% bracket was least expected and will increase the burden on consumers/patient steeply as it will raise the overall healthcare cost. This needs review,” added the statement.
“One big grey area where the government needs to bring in clarity quickly is as to how patients will get benefit in the new scheme unless MRP comes down?,”asked Mr Nath while adding, “In the present scheme, price/cost benefits, if any, are only going to reach up to the retailers and hospitals but not up to the consumers. Unless, the MRP is brought down, anti-inflationary benefits being expected from GST will not be passed on to consumers. The government needs to urgently bring clarity on this point.”