India’s first bulk drugs park to be set up in Gujarat’s Bharuch.

Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel on Friday announced the setting up of the country’s first bulk drug park in Bharuch with an estimated cost of 2,300 crore.

The bulk drugs park is being set up by the Gujarat government under the guidelines of the scheme “Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks” issued by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, government of India on July 27, 2020, to promote bulk drugs, active pharmaceutical ingredients and critical pharmaceutical ingredients manufacturing, said M Thennarasan, vice-chairman and MD of Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC).

The estimated cost for entire project is about 2,300 crore for which the Centre has given in-principle approval to the state government’s proposal to set up bulk drug parks with a financial grant-in-aid of 1,000 crore, he added.

Apart from Gujarat, the Department of Pharmaceuticals has given ‘in-principle’ approval to the proposals for pharma parks in Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.

The central government scheme aims to provide financial assistance to three states for establishing Bulk Drug Parks and aims to bring down the cost of manufacturing bulk drugs by creating world-class common infrastructure facilities.

GIDC, a wholly owned corporation of the Gujarat government, has been designated as the State Implementing Agency (SIA) for developing the upcoming park at Jambusar in Bharuch district.

The Gujarat pharma park project will be ready in less than two years, said a senior government official aware of the matter.

Gujarat contributes to about 28% of the country’s pharma exports of USD 25 billion and 30-31% of the domestic market that is pegged at another USD 25 billion. The pharma sector of the country has been hit by an unprecedented rise in the input costs for the past one and a half years.

The industry is now pinning its hope on the pharma parks that are being set up by the Centre to reduce India’s dependence on imports, said a senior official of the Indian Drugs Manufactures Association (IDMA). About 300 industries, mostly SMEs, are expected to set up their shops here, he said.

The pharma sector received some respite earlier this year from the national drug price regulator that allowed an annual increase of 10.76% in the wholesale price index (WPI). This resulted in a hike in price in more than 800 scheduled drugs giving the much-needed respite to the sector, he said. The industry was under pressure during Covid-19 restrictions with the cost of raw materials imported shooting up, he added.

Pharma is an import dependence industry with 40% of the total API requirement (USD 3.5-4 billion) of the country being met from imports from China (68%) and other countries (32%).

Source- Hindustan Times.
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