New Delhi: The government should cover the entire chain of manufacturing medical textile for exports under tax benefits for promoting a promising area of growth in the global market, industry body FICCI said.
"...there is a large untapped potential in exports of these new generation non-woven (man-made fibres) medical textiles, especially to developed countries like the US" FICCI said in a statement here.
To tap this market (the US and EU), the industry would require export incentives like Duty Entitlement Pass Book Scheme (DEPB) to be competitive in global markets, it said.
Under the DEPB scheme, companies can avail refund of customs duty paid on imported raw material for manufacturing products meant to be exported.
Medical textile products include gowns, caps, masks, drapes, hospital uniforms, bandages, surgical dressings and hospital beddings.
"Currently, DEPB rates are provided for only those medical textiles which are manufactured from spun yarn, and non-woven fabrics (directly made from the fibres) do not get any DEPB benefit," it said.
The current medical textiles market in India is around Rs 2,365 crore and is expected to touch Rs 3,737 crore by 2012-13, it added. "This offers a huge opportunity for new generation medical textiles in India", it said.
It further said that the government should amend Indian Drugs and Cosmetics Act to include new generation medical textiles made of fibres and disposable medical textile products.
These fibres are now extensively used in foreign countries for various medical textile products.
"Medical textiles made of cotton as used currently in the country do not meet many of the health and safety requirements," it said.
Most of the hospitals in India continue to use these traditional products despite being less hygienic, since the new and latest products are not included under the Drugs and Cosmetic Act of India, FICCI Taskforce on Technical Textiles Chairman Shishir Jaipuria said.