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Karnataka’s new Industrial Policy makes state’s Pharmaceutical Policy of 2012 redundant

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Monday, October 27, 2014, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Karnataka’s new Industrial Policy (KIP) 2014-2019 seems to have made the State’s Pharmaceutical Policy 2012 redundant. The fate of the much-awaited implementation of the Pharmaceutical Policy 2012 was fraught with delay. Although the final execution was to come in from the state government some time back, the move to launch a comprehensive KIP 2014-19 now would ensure overall development of the State.

The KIP 2014-2019 has provided all sops and incentives to spur inclusive, sustainable and balanced industrial development thereby creating large employment opportunities. Particularly for the state’s 251 pharma companies with a turnover of Rs.12,000 crore of which exports accounts for Rs.6,000 crore, the KIP 2014-2019 seems to be a booster shot. The state exchequer receives around Rs.4,500 crore from the pharma sector, the benefits ensuing from the KIP 2014-2019 could be far more attractive.

According to Raghurama Bhandary, drugs controller, government of Karnataka, a state industrial policy is the mother of all policies and currently this seems to supersede the State’s Pharmaceutical Policy 2012 at the face of it.

“Now if our State’s Pharmaceutical Policy 2012 which was much favoured by the 251 companies, has got any additional benefits compared to the KIP 2014-2019, then its existence would hold ample relevance in the current scenario”, he added.

The state’s pharma industry has been grappling with national development issues which include regulatory issues in clinical trial clearances and the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) impacting almost every company besides a global regulators vigilance.

Karnataka Pharmaceutical Policy 2012 was focusing to drive investments in the sector. The state was also scheduled to announce in its Budget 2014-15 about the efforts on the formation of the Karnataka Pharmaceutical Development Council (KPDC) with a budgetary provision of Rs.1 crore and the Vision Group on Pharmaceuticals with a Rs.25 lakh allocation which are two monitoring agencies. But none of these came through.

It is gathered that the efforts by the Karnataka Drugs and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (KDPMA) to form a Vision Group on Pharmaceuticals to get an approval from the state government went in vain. The former state industries and commerce principal secretary N Maheswar Rao who was working to ensure that the Vision Group on Pharmaceuticals would be created was transferred.

“A key attraction of the KIP 2014-2019 is the excise duty exemption for Hyderabad Karnataka Area as being offered to Seemandhra as Hyderabad Karnataka Area and abolishing of trade licensing fee”, noted Harish K Jain, treasurer, KDPMA and director, Embiotic Laboratories (P) Ltd.,

Further, goods manufactured by Micro & Small Enterprises located in the State will be allowed price preference of 15% against the Large and Medium industries of the State and units of other States during Government departments’ purchases. Now these are seen to be big benefits, added Jain.

According to Dr BR Jagashetty, former Karnataka drugs controller who was instrumental to propel the unveiling of the Pharmaceutical Policy in 2012, the state government had ample time to implement it. If it had done so, then Karnataka would have been the first state in the country to execute a dedicated Pharmaceutical Policy.

“However, if KIP 2014-2019 covers all the points of the Pharmaceutical Policy, then we are only looking at the end result that would give a fillip to the industry”, he added.


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