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Ramesh Shankar
Wednesday, October 12, 2022, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Union Commerce Ministry has recently approved the setting up of a separate Export Promotion Council (EPC) for the medical devices sector which will be working under the administrative control of the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP). The creation of the EPC for medical devices is approved by the government with one time waiver of the condition in guidelines on the subject, stipulating creation of an Export Promotion Forum initially, before its upgradation as EPC. The Council will be headquartered in YEIDA, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh with regional offices in Andhra Pradesh (in AMTZ, Visakhapatnam) and Telangana (in Hyderabad). The headquarters will be set up at the upcoming Medical Devices Park Common Facility Centre in Greater Noida. The Regional Office at Visakhapatnam is expected to be set up in a period of one year, by the end of 2023, and the regional office at Hyderabad will be set up in a period of three years, by 2025.
The Council’s administration and management will be through the Committee of Administration with elected and nominated members. The nominated members shall be from Department of Pharmaceuticals, Department of Commerce, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), Chief Executive Officers or Managing Directors of major medical device clusters or parks especially, including the MD of Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone and Chief Executive Officer of Hyderabad Pharma City, etc.

The new Council, which will have an exclusive focus on the implementation of trade-related initiatives and easing of trade issues in the medical devices sector, is being set up on the lines of Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil), which played a key role in promoting exports of pharmaceutical products.  Pharmexcil’s role in boosting the pharmaceutical exports from the country is now well known. It   periodically makes representations to government of India and other agencies in India and abroad to get amicable solutions for the common problems of the industry; makes suggestions to government of India on policy issues relating to pharma exports, it organises periodical seminars and interactive meetings on export related issues; organises Business Meetings in India and abroad; and organises trade delegations abroad. Surely, the new export promotion council exclusively for the medical devices sector will also be working on the same lines which will spur global market entry and will encourage domestic players to enhance quality standards and production capacity. India currently exports Rs. 23,766 crore (2021-22) of medical devices up from previous year Rs. 19,736 crore. However, with almost 80 per cent of the medical devices demand in the country is met through imports, the government and the medical devices industry are looking at various methods to improve domestic manufacturing and increase the exports from the country. Of course, the government’s initiative in this regard is a welcome one as this strategic step will go a long way in accelerating the exports of medical devices from India. Of course, the government’s new initiative will be music to the ears of the manufacturers of medical devices in the country, as it will definitely help exporters in promoting their products in international markets.


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