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Gireesh Babu, New Delhi October 04 , 2022
The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) has extended the last date for submission of applications under the Assistance to Pharmaceutical Industry for Cluster Facility (API-CF) sub-scheme under the Strengthening of Pharmaceuticals Industry (SPI) scheme for one more week till October 7, 2022.

The online application from the eligible pharma clusters to avail assistance under the API-CF sub-scheme was valid from August 1, 2022 to September 20, 2022, as per earlier timeline.

“In view of the requests received from few State governments to extend the last date of submission of application beyond September 30, 2022 under the sub-scheme API-CF, it has now been decided to extend the last date of submission of applications under API-CF sub-scheme to October 7, 2022,” said the DoP in a notice issued in the beginning of the month.

The Department of Pharmaceuticals has released the guidelines of the scheme SPI, with a total financial outlay of Rs.500 crore for the period from FY 21-22 to FY 25-26 to address the rising demand in terms of support required to existing Pharma clusters and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country to improve their productivity, quality and sustainability.

The API-CF sub scheme is to strengthen the existing pharmaceutical clusters’ capacity for their sustained growth by creating common facilities. Under the sub-scheme, support for clusters for creation of common facilities with the focus on R&D labs, testing laboratories, effluent treatment plants, logistic centres and training centres in this order of priority with an outlay of Rs. 178 crore for the scheme period of five years is proposed.

The DoP has recently clarified that group companies shall be considered as a single company while forming the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to set up common facilities under the Assistance to Pharmaceutical Industry for Cluster Facility (API-CF), which offers incentives to pharma clusters in the scheme for Strengthening of Pharmaceuticals Industry (SPI), clarifies the Department of Pharmaceuticals.

Responding to specific and general frequently asked questions on the API-CF scheme, the DoP has said that the group companies shall be considered as a single company to meet the minimum criteria of five pharma units for forming a SPV. It reiterates that as per the clause of the scheme guidelines, the SPV members shall be legally independent entities without any related party relationship with each other as described under the relevant accounting standards (AS) of the Companies (AS) Rules, 2006.

Industry members can come together and submit a proposal for forming into a SPV under API-CF which will be taken for scrutiny and in-principal approval of the Scheme Steering Committee (SSC). After in-principle approval of SSC, industry can form a legal entity as SPV.

If different companies under SPV, propose different equity, the same will be eligible under the scheme (with regard to equity contribution and number of units forming SPV) subject to meeting other parameters. There is no restriction between SPV members for their proposed equity distribution, but the overall eligibility criteria should be met, it said.

The limit of incentive (under APICF) will be 70% of the approved project cost or Rs.20 crore, whichever is less, as per approval of SSC. In case of Himalayan States and States in the North East Region, the grant in aid would be Rs. 20 crore per cluster or 90% of the project cost of the Common Infrastructure Facilities (CIF), whichever is less.

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