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‘The funding amount provided should be reasonable to meet requirements’

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The best scheme for Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) for SMEs should be the one that identifies their need and meets their requirements. Today, pharma SMEs require funding for HVACs, water purification, HPLCs, effluent treatment plants, besides several other manufacturing and quality control equipment and area expansions. Soft loans may also be required for staffing and training.

The funding amount provided should be reasonable to meet the above requirements. Many a time, the funds provided are unrealistic and inadequate. Subsidies of 20 to 30 per cent and concessional rate of interest of five per cent need to be considered. As the equipment and machineries will be mortgaged to the bank against the loan no other collateral securities should be insisted. Although Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) may be the nodal bank, the loan need to be disbursed through nationalised banks through a simple procedure.

The investment limits for pharma SMEs also need to be increased to accommodate the expansions required to meet global needs. The best platform for SMEs can be in contact manufacturing and exports. Tremendous opportunities are opening in exports and if pharma SMEs are encouraged through TUFS schemes, they can increase India’s share in supply of pharma to the world.

SV Veerramani, President, Indian Drug Manufacturers Association (IDMA)

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