Commerce Ministry brings export of medical devices, pharma machinery under EEPC

In a strategic move to address major export related concerns of the medical device and pharma machinery sector, the Government recently announced that EEPC INDIA formerly Engineering Export Promotion Council will henceforth handle the export related issues and promotional activities of the industry. It is understood that the government took this decision after lot of deliberation and suggestions from Pharmexcil who has been handling the sector till recently and the stakeholders, simultaneously.

EEPC deals with export promotion of engineering goods, projects and services from India.

The information shared by the ministry of commerce in a meeting with the stakeholder held in Gujarat last week, was well received by the industry as experts feel that finally the exporters of the medical device and pharma machinery industry will get a deserving platform to raise their issues and concerns with the government. This move stems from the fact that there had been a strong consensus within the industry that medical device and machinery industry, an outcome of engineering marvel, mainly comprising of electronic devices need a larger and appropriate forum than Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) which largely represents the pharma industry.

Interestingly, earlier the Council used to handle exports of only those medical devices notified as drugs under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, whereas it is understood that now EEPC will be handling exports of all the medical devices. Dr P V Appaji Director General (DG)of Pharmexcil informed that it is practical and feasible move, especially since hardly few companies where members of the Pharmexcil, making it more difficult for the Council to represent the industry at the Centre.

Expressing relief over this step an industry expert pointed out that this move comes at a time when the industry is in dire need of that push from the government to establish its presence in the market. According to D L Pandya, an expert from the medical device industry, this move will enable and open up a lot more opportunities for this sector as there are a lot of issues and challenges that the industry is currently grappling with that needs urgent intervention from the government to boost up the exports.

“Though Pharmexcil is a very competent forum, it had very little role to play for the medical device industry since it manly deals with only promotion of pharma industry. This made us feel left out from the incremental and developmental scope, which will hopefully change now with all the activities being migrated to EEPC. Now that a suitable forum is given to represent our cause as per our demands we hope to see positive change in the business, with adequate focus being rendered to our industry specific issues,” stressed Pandya who is also the chief executive officer, of Medical Plastics Data Service.

He further informed that to get better exposure they have also demanded to the government to include even the supply chain companies for medical devices and pharma machinery under the ambit of EEPC as they also make an important part of the industry.

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