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A Raju, Hyderabad October 14 , 2020
The Bulk Drugs Manufacturers Association (BDMA) has welcomed the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme launched by the Central government recently to boost domestic manufacturing of bulk drugs in the country.

The Central government’s move is most significant, as it is going to give a big push to the API and bulk drug sector in the country in the coming days, BDMA president V V Krishna Reddy said.

“The PLI scheme rolled out by the Central government is a big booster for the pharma industry particularly for the SMSE sector as it is going to promote the domestic manufacturing. As already we have been importing a large portion of APIs, Key starting materials (KSMs) and other drug intermediates from China. It is high time we reduce our dependence on other countries and promote our own industry, which is very important for us to build a robust platform which would help India to compete with other global players in the long run,” observed the BDMA president.

He appreciated the PLI scheme as a well balanced scheme in which the aspect for the chemical synthesis part is good. However, he expressed his apprehensions towards fermentation part and said that as there are very few companies in the fermentation segment in India, the scheme may not help attract investors in this segment.

Further expressing his reservation about the effective implementation of the PLI scheme, the BDMA president said that despite the government’s initiative to promote industry, the environment department is exhibiting its low enthusiasm and it may become a big hindrance in the way to the implementation of the scheme aimed at giving a push to the API sector.

“Though launching the booster PLI scheme is a welcome move by the government, however to ensure its effective implementation there needs to be increased coordination between the Department of Pharmaceuticals and the Ministry of Environment. I suggest there needs to have a couple of meetings between the two departments which would help boost confidence among the investors,” opined Krishna Reddy.

While referring to the initiatives like launching of pharma parks across the country to boost the pharma bulk drug sector, the BDMA president felt that other than pharma parks, there are lot of issues that need to be addressed for opening an industry unit. He mentioned that the timeframe to forward the application is 120 days and the government will take 90 days to give the letter of intent to the companies which have been selected.  

The scheme is from 2022 onwards, and the letters of intent shall be given probably in the first quarter of 2021, hence the companies will only be left with 9 months to one year to set up the factory and start producing. Therefore, approximately the first year would lapse for the company to avail the incentive under the PLI scheme. To overcome such problems in the future, he suggested that the time calculation should be done starting from the day the production begins.

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