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Centre to come out with PLI scheme for basic chemicals, says Union health minister

Our Bureau, New Delhi
Friday, May 26, 2023, 18:10 Hrs  [IST]

Central government will come out with a production linked incentive scheme for basic chemicals, in order to attain Atmanirbharta in pharmaceutical production, said Union health and family welfare and chemicals and fertilisers minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya. He also sought the industry's co-operations towards the government's actions for quality assurance.

He was speaking in the inaugural function of the 8th edition of the International Conference on 'India Pharma & India Medical Device 2023' organized by the Department of Pharmaceuticals in association with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

He said that the government has introduced the PLI scheme one and two for the pharma industry based on the interactions with the industry in the previous conferences.

He said that the PLI schemes at present supports manufacturing of key starting materials, APIs and formulations, but the government understood from the interactions with the industry that there is a requirement to support the manufacturing of basic chemicals, which is the step prior to KSMs and there should be Atmanirbharta there too.

"We got to know this from you (industry) and we have started working on it. We are coming out with PLI scheme for basic chemicals also, in the coming days," he said.

Industries and start ups need to work towards manufacturing KSMs. Industry needs to share its inputs through such conferences and stake holder consultations to help the government to come up with supporting policies, said the Minister.

The government has come out with the policy for medical devices, medical devices parks and others for the sector.

Considering that the micro, small and medium enterprises in the sector may not be able to use resources for research, he asked them to tie up with the NIPER institutes to conduct research. The industry need to put forward their issues with the NIPERs and let them come out with a solution. It will strengthen NIPERs and help them financially, he added.

The government has also opened the doors of ICMR's research institutes to address the issues of the industry. India has world class healthcare research institutions.

"India need to put its attention into affordability and quality manufacturing. Bargaining on quality will impact the trust on us. I am confident that I will get support from the industry on this. We need the industry's cooperation on the Government of India's actions initiated towards quality assurance," he added.

Issues with quality can create huge problems on India's global competitiveness.

"We will work together against this. I dont want to close down any industry, while we are trying to grow the industry. Government and industry are complimentary to each other,' he averred.

As a result of the discussions happened in the eight conferences organised by the Ministry, the two production linked incentive schemes, three Bulk Drug Parks, four medical devices parks were brought in, said the Minister.

The Minister launched the Medical Devices Export Promotion Council with six initial subscribers for the Council. The Minister also launched the Assistance to Medical Devices Cluster scheme and the National Medical Devices Policy, with the strategy documents.

He also released six reports of pharmaceuticals and medical devices sector, commissioned by the DoP - Boosting the India Medical Devices Industry, Survey of Medical Devices Clusters, Assessment of skill requirements of Indian Pharma Industry, Survey of pharma clusters, Survey of novel/innovative and cost effective policies for route of synthesis to decrease the cost of production of APIs which are currently being imported, and strategy for leveraging ASEAN FTAs and trade potential with the Middle East countries for the pharma sector in India.

S Aparna, secretary of DoP asked the pharma and medical devices industry to provide its feed back and suggestions on various areas.

These areas include an unfailing adherence to the best quality in the products that we make both for our national markets and for the export markets. Both the pharmaceuticals and the medical devices industry can provide the government with inputs on how to ensure the top class quality of the products.

The second area is how we pivot from being a cost based competitive industry to a value based competitive industry. How do we ensure that research and innovation is integral to the growth going forward for the industry. For that to happen it is not only the industry has to be innovative, but also the right ecosystem has to be created and there would be an important role for the regulators as well as academia and other stakeholders to ensure that we build that kind of an innovative ecosystem.

The third area is to be able to capture more of the global value chain, more of the aspirations, especially of the global south, to provide quality products at affordable prices in a reliable manner, she added.

Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood, principal scientific adviser to the Government of India, said that innovation is the key and our office is involved in deeptech start-up system. India has almost 95,00 start-ups and the number is increasing. But if you look at deeptech start-ups, based on the original works, in India it is not more than 4,000 to 5,000.

This is a small number and it has to grow in a substantial manner. Medical devices is one area where the deeptech start-ups can make a big impact. This is where the innovation has to be made to marketable products. The deeptech start-ups has some issues and my office is looking at some recommendations we will be making to the government to nurture the deeptech start-ups.


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