Ease of doing business for MSMEs: National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), an MSME promotion and growth enterprise under the MSME Ministry, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone Limited (AMTZ), a medical technology park for manufacturing modern healthcare devices based in Visakhapatnam. The MoU for the cooperation in the healthcare sector was signed by Gaurang Dixit, Chairman and Managing Director, NSIC and Jitendra Sharma, Managing Director and CEO, AMTZ on Wednesday, the ministry informed on Thursday.
MSME Minister Narayan Rane said the MoU will be a significant step toward enhancing the competitiveness of MSMEs in the healthcare sector. “Both organisations can leverage their expertise and create excellent opportunities for MSMEs in the healthcare sector to form global alliances and get access to the latest medical technologies along with creating skilled manpower for this sector,” the minister said.
AMTZ offers common facilities such as specialized laboratories, warehousing, and testing centers such as the Center for Electromagnetic Compatibility and Safety Testing, Center for Biomaterial Testing, Center for 3-D Printing, Centers for Lasers, etc. According to AMTZ, it produced over 100 ventilators, 500 oxygen concentrators, and 1 million RT PCR kits every day during the pandemic. “Many innovations from AMTZ such as mobile container hospitals, mobile RTPCR vehicles and mobile oxygen plants were sent even to the remotest parts of the country,” according to the AMTZ web portal.
The MoU comes amid the ongoing Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the Promotion of Domestic Manufacturing of Medical Devices approved in February last year. The scheme aims at a level playing field for the domestic manufacturers of medical devices with a total financial outlay of Rs 3,420 crore for the period 2020-21 to 2027-28. The financial incentives to selected enterprises are given at the rate of 5 per cent of incremental sales of medical devices manufactured in India. As of August 5, 2022, 21 applicants were selected under the scheme, according to the ministry of chemicals.
Importantly, the Cabinet in June last year approved a Loan Guarantee Scheme for Covid Affected Sectors (LGSCAS) to enable funding of Rs 50,000 crore to provide 50 per cent financial guarantee cover for brownfield expansion and 75 per cent for greenfield projects related to health and medical infrastructure. Brownfield project in urban planning is referred to an existing facility, which was used previously but lying vacant or unused now.