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Gireesh Babu, New Delhi June 29 , 2022
The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) has notified the Central Nodal Agencies (CNA) for the Central Sector Schemes for the development of pharmaceutical industry and distribution of drugs at affordable costs, as per the revised procedure laid out by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, in March, 2022.

The DoP has four main central sector schemes and three sub schemes under the fourth main schemes, which are to support the growth of the industry. The main schemes include Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP); production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical key starting materials (KSMs)/drug intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the country; PLI scheme for promoting domestic manufacturing of medical devices; and strengthening of pharmaceutical industries.

Under the strengthening of pharmaceutical industries scheme, there are three sub schemes - Assistance to Pharmaceutical Industry for Common Facilities (API-CF); Pharmaceutical Technology Upgradation Assistance Scheme (PTUAS); and Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Promotion and Development Scheme (PMPDS).

The Department has notified the Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices Bureau of India as the CNA for the PMBJP and IFCI Ltd for both the PLI schemes. For the three sub schemes, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has been notified as the CNA.

“The notified Central Nodal Agencies shall open a Central Nodal Account along with Holding Account, in a scheduled commercial bank (preferably the same bank where they are presently doing business) immediately for each scheme and inform the Department,” said the DoP order.

The Department of Expenditure has issued a revised procedure for flow of funds under Central Sector Schemes in March, 2022, categorising the schemes into two models - one which has an annual outlay of more than Rs. 500 crore and the other with annual capital outlay less than Rs. 500 crore.

Under the second model of the revised procedure, which are Central Sector Schemes having annual outlay of less than Rs. 500 crore, and those schemes implemented by the agencies of the State governments exclusively or in addition to the central agencies, and others, every department has to designate a CNA for implementing each Central Sector Scheme and the CNA has to open a Central Nodal Account for each Central Sector Scheme in a scheduled commercial bank authorised to conduct government business by the concerned Department.

While the model has provisions for implementing agencies, which are designated as sub agencies, to implement the schemes, the DoP notification assigns a sub agency for only one sub scheme, which is the API-CF. The API-CF will have a special purpose vehicle as the sub-agency for implementation of the project.

In March, this year, the DoP has combined the existing schemes for the development of pharmaceutical industries into a single scheme of strengthening of pharmaceutical industry (SPI) with modification in the scheme guidelines, to strengthen the existing infrastructure facilities with a total financial outlay of Rs. 500 crore.

The scheme is to provide financial assistance to pharma clusters for creation of common facilities to improve the quality and ensure sustainable growth of cluster; upgrade the production facilities of micro, small and medium enterprises to meet national and international regulatory standards, through interest subvention or capital subsidy; and to promote knowledge and awareness in and about the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry by taking up studies, building databases and bringing in experts from various fields to share knowledge.

API-CF will have a financial outlay of Rs 178.40 crore from 2021-22 to 2025-26, PTUAS will have Rs. 300.10 crore and PMPDS will have Rs. 21.50 crore as financial outlay for the same period.

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