Himachal Pradesh raises concerns over bulk drug park evaluation criteria

Reportedly, other hilly, landlocked states share similar concerns

The Industries Department of Himachal Pradesh has written a letter to DoP raising concerns that the evaluation criteria of the bulk drug parks seem to be favouring the coastal line and putting hill states at a serious disadvantage.

In its representation to the DoP, the state authority has made several observations in the recently announced detailed bulk drug park scheme guidelines and recommended some changes.

They include:

1) The criteria of additional marks of 2.5 for additional land (175 acres for hilly state and 250 acres for plains), puts hilly states at a serious disadvantage vis-a-vis big states in terms of area. Hence, it has proposed that no additional marks for any additional land to be given above the basic eligibility criteria

2) Point number five of the guidelines, on the suitability of the location of the park from the environmental angle, states that it should be near the coast (within 20 km of coastline or zero liquid discharge effluent treatment plant. The HP state authority has expressed that this criterion is highly favouring the coastal states, as zero liquid discharge (ZLD) itself in an expensive proposition of around Rs 100 crores. Therefore, it needs to be reconsidered:
a) Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) should be made sole criteria to ensure NGT or supreme court guidelines are adhered or
b) For parity in terms of landlocked and coastal states, the cost of technical infrastructure, particularly for ZLD component be provisioned in the scheme and borne by the Government of India, as it is one of the critical factors for minimising the adverse impact on the environment

3) Related to GST reimbursement, subsidy incentive etc., against investment, it has cited that in this regard the states can only offer from the part that the State earns i.e net GST, so it needs to be clarified that reimbursement refers to net GST of the state, not gross GST. Apart from this, it has also sought a clarification on the definition of investment, whether it includes land, plant and machinery or any other infrastructure

4) Under point number seven of the guidelines, the criterion is favouring big states, who have ample accessibility network infrastructure, whereas small hill states will be at a serious disadvantage. Therefore, it has recommended

a) Relaxation of the criterion for the hill states or providing due consideration for terrain advantage

b)  In the evaluation criteria, rail connectivity score is missing. Since rail connectivity is the cheapest mode of transportation of goods. It is imperative to include rail connectivity.

5) Under point number 10 of the guidelines, it has submitted that points should rather be linked with the urban population of the state, otherwise it will be favouring bigger states. And the objective criteria should be based on the number of institutes/1,00,000 population because a number of institutes per unit of population is a better and more equitable criterion than just a number of specialised research institutes in the pharma sector, number of medical biotechnology and pharmacy colleges.

6) As per the point number 11 of the guidelines, it has submitted that the number of pharma and chemical clusters in the state pharma cluster, and auxiliary units chemicals used in pharma are proximity to the market. And it is a critical parameter for establishing any industry. Hence, market proximity is a point of viability for the bulk drug park. Therefore, it is proposed that this criterion should have more marks, maybe 10 or more marks.

HP state authority has requested the DoP to consider these observations and communicate about implemented changes at the earliest so that the state government can submit the proposal for the bulk drug parks as per the stipulated timelines.

Reportedly, other hilly and landlocked states have also expressed similar concerns.

In a recently held virtual technical session of PHD Chamber of commerce, Dr Eswara Reddy, Joint Drug Controller General of India said that while some states have stated that bulk drug park guidelines are favouring the coastal states, in reality, it has been designed keeping the fact in mind that coastal areas are the safest places for disposal activities of chemical waste and deal with pollution.

In the recently held webinar on ’HP Economic Summit-Getting the Growth Back’, organised by the CII, the HP CM had said that the state government is expecting to get one bulk drug park out of the three bulk drugs parks.


bulk drug parkbulk drug park scheme guidelinesDoPHimachal Pradesh
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