By Mr Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, AiMeD
· Prices for most medical devices not to be impacted under the new scheme.
· But diagnostics equipment at 18% on steeper side and undesirable
· Addressing the Grey Area – Government needs to bring clarity on how cost/price benefits, if any. will be passed on to the consumers?
New Delhi, 24th May, 2017:
The GST Council headed by Union Finance Minister Shri 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.
Since most of the medical devices have been put in the 12% slab, we at AiMeD see little or no impact on the prices of devices.
However, 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.
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? 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.