Thiruvananthapuram: In an effort to bolster the government’s Make in India programme with indigenous manufacture of medical equipment and devices, mini-ratna PSU HLL Lifecare Ltd will set up a Medipark in 330 acres of land at Chengalpattu in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu.
The Medipark, which will be India’s first medical technology manufacturing cluster, has been given a major push with the Union Cabinet now granting HLL permission to sublease the land, which was originally leased to it by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare for implementation of the project.
HLL Lifecare will develop plug and play state-of-art infrastructure and industrial plots and lease them out to investors to setup the manufacturing units in medical devices and equipment. The project shall be a “one-stop facility” for manufacturing units through the creation of an integrated ecosystem to facilitate business, approvals, stimulate innovation and R&D, develop new technologies, prototyping and commercialisation activities and become a hub for the sector in the country.
HLL Lifecare’s shareholding in the project would be above 50%. The Government of Tamil Nadu is supporting the initiative through equity participation limited to 10%. The land has been leased to the mini-ratna company for 99 years at Re 1 per annum; the assessed market value of the land will be paid back to the Government out of surplus generated from the 7th year onwards.
In 2015, the demand for medical equipment and devices in India was estimated at Rs 30,000 crore, 70% of which was imported. The Medipark is expected to not only boost investment in the sector but also help reduce dependence on imports and drive down the cost of medical devices which in turn will lower the cost of healthcare delivery.
The phased development of Medipark is expected to be completed over seven years. Physical infrastructure will be created in the first phased with plots expected to be leased out from the third year. Once fully functional, Medipark is expected to generate direct employment for around 3,000 people.
“India is currently almost completely dependent on imports for high-end items like imaging equipment, pace makers, breathing and respiration equipment,” said R P Khandelwal, Chairman and Managing Director of HLL. “This is placing a huge financial burden, especially on public healthcare delivery services. Domestic manufacturing of the devices and equipment would bring down these costs and make healthcare more affordable for the public.”
Khandelwal noted that health security is a major goal for the government and the draft National Medical Device Policy 2015 aims to align the medical devices sector with “Make in India” programme.
“Lack of proper infrastructure is often cited as one of the reasons for relatively the low manufacturing base for medical equipment and devices in the country. With a state-of-the-art manufacturing cluster such as Medipark we hope to address this critical gap in infrastructure,” he added.