Feb 11, 2016 11:09 AM IST | Source: PTI

Customs duty on life saving drugs to help domestic cos: Sinha

As per the government order last week, the Central Board of Excise and Customs has withdrawn exemption on as many as 74 drugs, including life savings drugs for treating cancer and HIV, from levy of customs duty.

Customs duty on life saving drugs to help domestic cos: Sinha

Recent imposition of customs duty on life saving drugs by government is in line with the 'Make In India' drive and the domestic industry is capable of making these medicines within India, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said.

"We are certainly following the 'Make In India' practices. There are many domestic manufacturers that are capable of supplying all of that drugs that are not of the exempt list.

"And therefore no patient in India is going to suffer anymore...or have to pay any more for the price which they are paying right now because the domestic industry is very much capable of supplying all of those drugs at very good prices," Sinha told reporters on the sidelines of India Digital Summit.

As per the government order last week, the Central Board of Excise and Customs has withdrawn exemption on as many as 74 drugs, including life savings drugs for treating cancer and HIV, from levy of customs duty.

Medicines to treat kidney stones, cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy, life-threatening heart rhythm disorders, bone diseases, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, antibiotic to treat infections will now attract customs duty.

Besides, interacting with reporters, Sinha said India is now getting big on its technology intervention.

"India is the next big thing in technology. The kind of solutions and mobile app that we are developing are not only helping the people but giving India a leadership role." Drawing example of the US design point and replicating it here, he said if India wants to do the same here then 80 percent of the technological features and functionalities will have to be given at the 20 percent of the price.

"If you don't give (it at 20 percent price), then whatever kind of market you have in India, it won't sell, so you will have to follow the 80:20 rule," he added.

On the start-up initiative, he said the government wants to cover all such genuine ventures and provide them guidance.

He said the government is on a reform path to change India and a lot of efforts are underway to boost infrastructure.

"As far as Railways are concerned you should know that in the last UPA government, the total capex into railways was Rs 58,000 crore. In our government, we have capex plans of Rs 8.5 lakh crore and this year we are going to spend Rs 1 lakh crore as far as the railways capex is concerned." He said the government has taken a very broad and sweeping transformation for country's infrastructure sector.

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