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Laxmi Yadav, Mumbai August 16 , 2022
The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) has set a target of providing financial assistance of Rs. 10 crore each to 420 MSME pharma manufacturing units under the Pharmaceutical Technology Upgradation Assistance Scheme (PTUAS) to meet national and international regulatory standards by upgrading their facilities to Schedule M or WHO GMP standard.
 
Besides this, the DoP also aims to create common infrastructure facilities for strengthening of 10 MSME pharma clusters under Assistance to Pharmaceutical Industry for Common Facilities Scheme (APICF).
 
PTUAS, APICF and Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Promotion and Development Scheme (PMPDS) are part of Scheme for Strengthening of Pharmaceuticals Industry rolled out by the Union ministry of chemicals and fertilisers last month.
 
As of now 1,235 out of 6000 MSME pharma units acquired WHO GMP certifications. MSMEs contribute 70 per cent to India’s pharma exports.
 
Speaking at the state level outreach programme for Scheme for Strengthening of Pharmaceuticals Industry held by Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association in Mumbai, N Yuvraj, Joint Secretary, DoP said “The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the world’s 3rd largest by volume and 14th largest in terms of value. India has the second-highest number of US FDA approved plants outside the US. Indian pharma exports witnessed a growth of 103 per cent since 2013-14, from Rs. 90,415 crore in 2013-14 to Rs. 1,83,422 crore in 2021-22. The exports achieved in 2021-22 is the pharma sector' best export performance ever. We want to further increase quality export from India. We have 1235 MSMEs having WHO GMP certification out of 6000 MSMEs. Scheme for Strengthening of Pharmaceuticals Industry envisaging technology upgradation, setting up of common research centres and effluent treatment plants in clusters for the pharma MSMEs will help them improve their product quality and increase their export.”
 
“We have set a target of providing financial assistance to about 420 MSME units under PTUAS and creating 10 new clusters under APICF. Currently we have around 120 clusters across the country. The department has extended financial support to three clusters each in Himachal Pradesh, Chennai, Pune,” he said.
 
“We invited online applications from eligible pharma clusters and MSME pharma units to avail assistance under the two sub-schemes of the Scheme for Strengthening of Pharmaceuticals Industry (SPI) from August 1, 2022. The MSMEs having WHO GMP certification aspiring to meet PICS standards can also take advantage of PTUAS scheme,” stated Yuvraj.
 
PTUAS aims to facilitate MSME of proven track record to upgrade their technology to meet WHO-GMP or Schedule M standards. The scheme has provisions for a capital subsidy of 10 per cent on loans up to a maximum limit of Rs. 10 crore with a minimum repayment period of three years or interest subvention of up to 5 per cent (6 per cent in case of units owned by SC/ST) on reducing balance basis. Minimum repayment period of the loan sanctioned for availing of the benefit under the scheme is 3 years.
 
APICF is implemented in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. Financial assistance under this scheme is provided for creation of Common Facilities, such as Common Testing Centre, Training Centre, R&D Centre, Central Effluent Treatment Plan (CETP), Common Logistic Centre, etc. to a Special Purpose Vehicles(SPVs) set up for the purpose. It provides for an assistance of up to 70 per cent of the approved project cost or Rs. 20 crore, whichever is less. In case of Himalayan and north-east region, the grant-in-aid would be Rs. 20 crore per cluster or 90 per cent of the project cost, whichever is less.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Joint Commissioner, Maharashtra FDA Dr D R Gahane said “We appreciate the scheme addressing concerns of MSMEs. There are 999 MSME allopathy units in Maharashtra. Of them, 309 units have received WHO GMP certification. Exports are impossible without the WHO GMP certification. The financial assistance provided by the scheme will help MSMEs upgrade their facilities on a par with WHO standards which will help boost their exports. I hope a number of industry players will take advantage of the scheme Maharashtra has several pharma clusters viz. clusters in Ambernath MIDC, Tarapur, Boisar, Palghar, Ratnagiri, Nagpur, Pune, Aurangabad, Nashik etc. They will also benefit from the scheme.”

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