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UPSIDA organises webinar to attract investors for proposed bulk drug park in Lalitpur

State authorities highlight initiatives that will be taken to create advantages for investors; stakeholders recommend measures to increase ease of doing business and maximise opportunities

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The Uttar Pradesh authority has identified 2000 acres size land for a bulk drug park in Lalitpur and 100 acres land for the medical device park in Noida, near the upcoming Jewar airport. The authority is also consulting the Switzerland Airport authorities, to build world-class infrastructure in these parks. Further, the State Government is planning to design a specialised incentive package to attract investments in these parks.

With an aim to drive the investors’ interest in the proposed bulk drug park in Lalitpur and medical device park in Noida, the Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Authority (UPSIDA) recently organised a stakeholder consultation webinar to understand various modalities related to implementation. Both, government officials as well as industry representatives gave their suggestions.

Alok Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary – Industrial Development informed that the state authority is redesigning the Uttar Pradesh Pharmaceutical Industry Policy 2018, to offer various sector-specific incentives to attract investments for pharma manufacturing in the State. And, based on the industry’s suggestions, the draft policy has been formulated. Very soon it will go to the cabinet for final approval.

He added that the proposed park is designed keeping in mind the common facilities that the industry requires for ease of doing business. He informed that a nodal officer will be assigned to address the investors’ queries related to the application and approval process as well as other queries.

Anita Singh, Principal Secretary, Food Safety and Drug Administration, GoUP updated about the key salient features of the proposed bulk drug. She said that the objective is to assist the industry to meet the standards of the environment at a reduced cost through innovative methods of a common waste management system. The state has ample sources of water to ensure uninterrupted supply to industrial units and adequate other utilities like electric supply, sewerage lines, stormwater drainage, parking facilities, solid waste management facilities etc. And, based on industry recommendations, the authority is also looking at creating a distribution and regulatory infrastructure and it is open to industry’s suggestions.

She mentioned that the state government is also planning to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the CSIR Institutes across the country for technology transfer, knowledge exchange, novel drug discovery system, skill development etc. It is also creating a system which will ensure a time-bound revert on queries raised by the investors. And to encourage the ease of doing business in the state, it is also working towards creating a single-window clearance.

Dr G N Singh, Advisor to the Chief Minister on Pharmaceuticals, said, “Our objective is to create a knowledge-based environment in the State and the officials are continuously striving for it. We are in the process of entering into a knowledge-based partnership with research scientists from the US, America and Europe.

He also invited investors to make a visit to the state and grasp its potential, as the proposed Uttar Pradesh Pharmaceutical Industry Policy 2020 has widened the scope for the industry by incorporating several segments like phytopharmaceuticals, excipients, drug discovery, drug intermediates etc.

Navdeep Rinwa, Joint Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) said, “Pharmaceutical and medical devices industry is the sunshine sectors and the government looks at them as potential sectors to grow than just earning foreign exchanges. Therefore, it has announced the bulk drug park and medical device parks schemes to make the sector self-reliant.”

He also informed that to assist the industry as well as State authorities, the DoP has constituted a five-member committee known as Pharma Bureau. The function of the committee is to understand the industry’s concerns and issues related to this scheme and besides the industry, the state government authorities can also take assistance from this committee. He further added that since the Bulk Drug Park scheme is in a challenge mode, and the selection criteria of the park are based on the offerings that the states are giving their investors, it will not only attract investors but also initiate a step towards creating a self-sufficient eco-system.

BR Sikri, Chairman, FOPE, and Vice President, BDMA suggested, “The Indian pharma industry is likely to grow by 16 -17 per cent in the current financial year. Although the government announced scheme guidelines for the Bulk Drug Park is very clear and transparent in its mode of functioning, it will further attract the investors based on the incentive schemes being offered by the States. Seeing the potential of the sector, I urge the authorities of the State that whether UP gets a park or not, the state should go ahead with its proposed plan of setting up a bulk drug park in Lalitpur. Because, analysing the present scenario in the global market, a majority of the investments are likely to get diverted to the Indian market, which is a positive sign for the industry to grow.”

Commenting on the proposed bulk drug park, Ajit Singh, Chairman, ACG Group suggested, “The state has several advantages for investors. However, there is a need to widen the scope and add excipients as well in the offering.”

He also added that just as the authorities are considering about partnering with the Singapore Airport authorities for building the infrastructure they should also consider about knowledge transfer activities from Basle of Switzerland as it is the ‘Brother City for Bulk Drugs’.

The other suggestions made during the virtual event included making a centralised testing laboratory for all pharma units of the park to save huge investments on individual units. But as required in the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, every individual pharma unit should have its own testing laboratory and analysis system.

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