‘Today, FOPE is being recognised as one of the major pharma associations’

BR Sikri, Co-Chairman, FOPE, in an interaction with Sachin Jagdale, talks about the role taken by FOPE in Himacal Pradesh and Uttarakhand

What specific challenges do pharma entrepreneurs face in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh?

FOPE was created in 2006 with a specific purpose to protect the interest of pharmaceutical manufacturers in Excise Free Zone. Today, FOPE is being recognised as one of the major pharma associations. The major challenges before us for these specific areas are to protect the benefits of continued excise exemption to keep them competitive. We are working closely with Himachal Pradesh Drug Manufacturers’ Association and Uttarakhand Drug Manufacturers’ Association in this direction and taking up the issue with appropriate authorities at the centre level.

What role will 13 sub committees play, involving technocrats/ stakeholders and professionals, formed by FOPE?

At FOPE, we have 13 sub-committees with specific purposes. We want to utilise the talent of our members in such a way that it benefits them in the most appropriate way to increase their efficiency. Each sub-committee has the subject experts and advise the senior executives on how to proceed in those areas. They take up the issue with the authorities and attend the meetings at the department and represent our cause and concerns.

Have you held any discussions with the government to extend tax holidays in Baddi? What was the outcome of these discussions?

With regards to the steps taken by FOPE in getting the period extended for Tax Exemption in Baddi, we in association with local body have taken up the issue at the state level, as well as with the Centre. The issue is currently under progress.

Give us the details of conference and exhibition that FOPE is organising on February 12 and 13 in Baddi. How is 10th anniversary of FOPE conference going to be different from its previous editions?

The leadership team has a single point agenda that is how to take care of their member’s interest along with keeping in mind the interest of the suffering population. With this mindset, we are working closely with IDMA, Confederation of Indian Pharmaceutical Industry (CIPI), or any other pharma association or group. To name a few areas where our joint efforts has benefited the industry are FDC, amendments in D&C Act/ Rules, Pricing Policy, use of PET bottles and many other important issues.

FOPE organises seminars to generate a congenial environment for the industry in general and with specific interest of our members. We invite key opinion leaders from the industry for this purpose and these are being attended by senior bureaucrats, technocrats and policy makers.

sachin jagdale@expressindia.com

FOPEHimachal Pradesh Drug Manufacturers’ AssociationUttarakhand Drug Manufacturers’ Association