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Laxmi Yadav, Mumbai June 13 , 2020
Small and medium pharma manufacturers have urged the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) to evolve criteria for MSME sector in the proposed production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme aiming at incentivising active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturers in the country in line with announcements made by Prime Minister Marendra Modi to strengthen MSMEs.

MSME pharma manufacturers have expressed gratitude towards the Prime Minister for giving special focus on the MSME sector in his kind announcement recently to encourage and financially rehabilitate the sector.

The government announced distribution of Rs 3 lakh crore Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme for MSMEs as well as Rs. 20,000 crore subordinate debt for stressed MSMEs. It also announced Rs. 50,000 crore equity infusion for MSMEs, which will strengthen their growth potential and will enable them to get listed on stock exchanges.

While appreciating the government's initiative in supporting MSMEs to tide over the crisis due to COVID-19 lockdown, Small and Medium Pharma Manufacturers Association (SMPMA) has urged it to waive off bank guarantee of loan up to Rs. one crore for MSME units.

In order to sort out the constraints faced by MSMEs manufacturing APIs, SMPMA suggested DoP to appoint a nodal officer so as to ensure better coordination and oversee that unnecessary delays do not occur in execution of the projects such as pollutions approvals etc.

To implement the PLI scheme, an empowered committee (EC) will be formed. The EC will consider applications as found eligible by the project management agency under the scheme for approval.

SMPMA chairman Nipun Jain appealed to DoP to include secretary, MSME in the EC.

Jain also urged the department to extend incentives to all the segments of the MSME sector.

It is learned that the government will provide Rs. 10 crore each to domestic companies setting up plants to produce 41 products covering 53 crucial APIs for which the domestic drug industry is completely dependent on imports from China. Besides, four fermentation products including penicillin G will get an annual incentive of Rs. 720 crore.

The incentive is part of a Rs. 10,000-crore PLI scheme approved by the Cabinet in March to speed up manufacturing of critical bulk drugs and APIs in India. The incentive will be given to companies investing in greenfield plants to manufacture 53 crucial APIs of anti-TB drugs, steroids and vitamins.

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