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PMO rejects bulk drugs policy, unhappy with pharma clusters

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has rejected the government’s draft note on new bulk drugs policy prepared by the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP).

business Updated: Sep 23, 2015 22:54 IST
Himani Chandna
The government has declared 2015 as the ‘Bulk Drugs Year’.
The government has declared 2015 as the ‘Bulk Drugs Year’.(Reuters File)

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has rejected the government’s draft note on new bulk drugs policy prepared by the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP).

While the government wants to boost domestic production as part of Make in India and reduce reliance on imports from China, the PMO is unhappy with the cluster approach for boosting bulk drug production, planned under the draft note.

“The draft note on the new bulk drug policy has come back from the PMO. They want few major changes as the PMO does not find much merit in creating pharma clusters,” a senior official DoP said. “The department will start work on the policy again and may send the revised note by October.”

HT first reported on June 15 about that the government’s proposed plan to create mega parks for pharma clusters through special purpose vehicles (SPVs), which would be provided with a host of incentives for manufacturers, including a 15-year tax holiday, allocation of coal and electricity at concessional rates, soft loans to the industry through interest subsidy of 5% and income tax benefits for an initial period of 10 years. “The government is planning to invest over Rs 5,000 crore for the establishment of bulk drug cluster parks,” the official, who was closely engaged in drafting the new policy, had told HT earlier.

The government has already declared 2015 as the ‘Bulk Drugs Year’.

“With an aim to strengthen the ‘Make in India’ initiative, we are targeting to produce 100% of bulk drugs domestically and stop active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) imports from China in the next two to three years,” Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, minister of state, chemicals and fertilisers, had earlier told HT.