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Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai January 15 , 2021
The West Bengal branch of the Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA WB) will soon tailor strategies to push up the struggling domestic pharmaceutical industry as well as to develop the sector in other states in the north east.

A time-bound plan in this regard has been chalked out, but deliberations are still going on to finalize it. The association was forced to think of tailoring plans and projects to boost the sagging small scale pharma manufacturing units in the wake of no financial or technical support to them from the government side, due to which the industry is struggling day by day, sources in the IPA said.

As per the plan, the IPA WB will discuss with the industry association and take their issues with the central and state governments. It will encourage new entrepreneurs to invest in the pharma field, for which special meetings for start-ups will be organized, according to PK Bannerjee, president of the association.

He said the number of pharmaceutical manufacturing units has decreased largely in the last 30 years, but Kolkata was once the hub of the pharma industry in the eastern part of the country four decades ago. Today no new entrepreneur is interested in investing in the industrial sector, especially on pharma because of government policies. Now the IPA Bengal branch is planning to encourage fresh entrepreneurs to attract them to the pharma sector. The association will also discuss with the national body of pharmaceutical manufacturers (IDMA) and the Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil) for the industry’s survival.

When Pharmabiz contacted Birendra Kumar Sarkar, the president of the West Bengal Small & Medium Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (WBSMPMA) to take stock of the situation, he said the industry is now in a deplorable condition and it is totally neglected by the government. He alleged that the government has no plan or project for developing a strong pharma industry for the state. According to Birendra, currently there are less than 100 SSI pharma units operating in West Bengal.

“The state government has no vision for the pharmaceutical industry sector in West Bengal. The government is not caring for the industry and it has no special pharma policy. Although the industry has submitted proposals several times for a pharma park, the government has not considered it and not given any priority to that. We are still a neglected lot”, says Birendra Sarkar.

Prabash Chakravorthy, secretary of the small scale pharma industry association, said during this Covid pandemic period, the state drugs control department has been very kind enough to issue licences for sanitizer manufacturing and granting emergency approvals for drug production. He said the pharma industry will come up soon in West Bengal as what was before, but marketing of products is becoming a challenge for the industry.

Meanwhile the secretary of the IPA WB said there is ample opportunity for fresh entrepreneurs in the pharma sector as the entire north east is depending on West Bengal for their medicinal needs.

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