Gujarat Government promoting pharma companies

Gujarat Government promoting pharma companies

In the near future, Gujarat state will be known as the hub of pharmaceutical activities across the world. Kamlesh Patel, Chairman, Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA) – Gujarat State Board reveals the opportunities available to Usha Sharma

Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) was designated the country partner for the ‘Vibrant Gujarat – Global Investors’ Summit 2009′. What business opportunity we can see from this partnership?

For Vibrant Gujarat-Global Investors’ Summit 2009 Japan was the country partner and it was really very good achievement of the Gujarat Government. This was the first time when India received international country partnership for such a summit. It started with one partnership; definitely it will attract other countries also in the future. The partnership with Japan will increase involvement of Japan in Gujarat in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) manufacturing fields as well.

Overall, how many pharma manufacturing units exists in Gujarat? How much growth has been registered by the state in the past decades?

Overall there are more than 800 pharma manufacturing units in formulation and API in Gujarat. As per my knowledge there was no growth registered in the past since last four years. It may be because of excise free zone subsidy which was declared by Indian Government and due to which a majority of pharma industries shifted and transferred their production to Excise Free Zones for sustaining good growth.

What percentage of the country’s pharma manufacturing activities originates from Gujarat?

At present we have observed that nearly 30 percent of the country’s total pharma manufacturing activities originate from Gujarat.

Looking ahead, what impact you are expecting from ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ on the pharma and biotechnology sector, in terms of investment flow, etc?

This year in ‘Vibrant Gujarat Summit’ Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) worth above Rs 600 crore were related to pharma and biotechnology. We see an excellent future for these sectors in Gujarat. Gujarat Government is also taking rigorous steps for (encouraging) pharma ventures. Very shortly, Government is going to announce a pharma-oriented Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) in Gujarat and for all these reasons, the flow of pharma companies will increase.

How will Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA) promote Gujarat as an emerging destination to MNC pharma companies?

IDMA is very enthusiastic about developing the pharma industry in Gujarat. Because of IDMA more than 71 pharma companies have already planned to set up operations in Gujarat and naturally due to this, MNC pharma companies will also be attracted for contract manufacture.

Could you share detailed information on the support provided by the Narendra Modi government to the pharma sector in Gujarat?

As far as the Shree Narendra Modi government is concerned, I would like to say that the Modi government is really promoting the pharma industries in Gujarat state. The Modi government invites global pharma companies by bringing out different programmes. They try to make these global pharma companies understand that like Vibrant Gujarat, the government is trying to bring low budget pharma companies to the front as this state always helps promote upcoming start up companies. The Drug Advisory Board, new website of the Gujarat Food and Drug Control department is under process and it will be the first website to have the online application of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensing system in India. As I have mentioned earlier, the government is going to announce a pharma-oriented GIDC plan and for that, it has already sectioned five pharma Special Economic Zones (SEZs). The government has also approved various biotechnology parks and more than 70 pharmacy colleges are to receive final approval. All these facts will boost the pharma industry in Gujarat.

From several decades Gujarat has been known as a pharma machinery hub, could you highlight how beneficial this is to the pharma industry? How is IDMA and Indian Pharma Machinery Manufacturers Association (IPMMA) jointly supporting both industries?

Pharma machinery industry in Gujarat is the largest sector for business in Gujarat. Development of pharma machinery is also excellent, export of pharma machinery from Gujarat is very huge. IDMA – Gujarat State Board (GSB) and IPMMA have always supported each other and are also working together on many projects as development of pharma machinery is considered the back bone of pharma industry, which will definitely help growth of the pharma industry.

What initiative would you/IDMA like to take for the promotion of Gujarat based API manufacturers?

IDMA-GSB has started many additional activities for API and formulations. Both have jointly started news bulletins for API niche companies. IDMA -GSB has started a daily newsletter. IDMA-GSB has started to contact all government authorities for representation of industry requirements. IDMA -GSB is going to organise exhibitions for the API and formulation industry.

It is the assumption that in the near future many pharma units will be coming up in Gujarat, what preventive measures you will like to see in the design of these plants so that environmental concerns are addressed?

The majority of formulation units coming up in Gujarat are exempted by the pollution department and they are not polluting the environment. But we are still going to make waste water treatment planning a part of the Pharma GIDC.

What initiatives has the regional arm of IDMA taken to promote the Gujarat SSI pharma sector?

IDMA is going to work strongly for the promotion of the Small Scale Industry (SSI) to represent their problems and demand benefits from the government.

What are the problems faced by pharma industries?

If Central Government increases the excise (duty) from four percent then it will kill growth of the pharma industry not only in Gujarat but also in other parts of India as well.