JK can become a hub of pharmaceutical Industry: Experts
Srinagar, May 28: Experts on Friday said J&K can become a ‘hub for pharmaceutical industries in India.’
Speaking at a conference on ‘Bio-Pharma Hub: Advantage Jammu and Kashmir at Hotel The Lalit Grand Palace here, the experts said there was a huge potential for developing bio-pharmaceutical industry in the state, given its conducive investment climate.
The conference was organized by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in collaboration with J&K SIDCO.
Co-chairman, National Committee on Health, ASSOCHAM, Harindar Sikka, said over 50 per cent of plant species described in British Pharmacopoeia were reported growing in Kashmir.
J&K, he said, was blessed with various medicinal plants that mostly grew on the mountains of the Valley, of which nearly 570 plant species were of huge medicinal importance.
“Based on these high value plant species, J&K has a huge potential for establishing bio-pharmaceutical industry,” he said, adding that the herbal plants that were grown in Kashmir could not be replicated in other parts of the world.
The state government, he said, offered many attractive incentives for pharma companies on capital investment that included 100 per cent central excise refund facility, 100 per cent income tax holiday for 10 years, three per cent interest subsidy on working capital and free insurance cover on plant and building, “therefore the companies should explore the advantage of investing and setting up operations in the state.”
He added that the traditional knowledge of medicinal herbs shall play a significant role in the next era of drug discovery.
Sikka further said that India’s drug industry was worth over Rs 100,000 crore and was the third largest in the world in terms of volume. The country exports drugs worth Rs 42,000 crore annually, he said.
In India, he said, at present new drugs were being explored in the same manner as was done hundreds of years ago. “While exploring the mountains, rivers, oceans and deserts, we are seeking new frontiers,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Satish Kaul, resident director, Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd, said the company had chosen J&K for setting up of their unit because of its conducive investment climate, competitive power tariff, attractive package of incentives from central and state government and many other factors, “otherwise we had a choice of setting up the unit in North-Eastern states, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal as well.” He said their experience in J&K had so far remained beyond expectations as compared to other states of India. “This has given us confidence for doing further investments over here.”
To attract further investments in the state, he said, it was necessary to provide smooth clearances for raw material, plant and machinery and finished goods from Industries and Commercial Taxes department.
He requested the CM to advocate extension of new incentives for large scale industries on the lines of MSMEs. “This would create long-term employment opportunities for the local entrepreneurs,” he said.
By 2020, he said, India shall be one of the top 10 markets in pharmaceuticals. “As we are moving forward in globally integrated economy, we come across various challenges and even greater opportunities,” he said.
Talking about achievements of Emcure Pharmaceuticals, he said the company was providing direct employment to over 300 people and would employ additional 400 people after completion of its expansions.
Senior Advisor MDGs, United Nations Office for Partnerships, Babu Lal Jain, said J&K was rich in medicinal, aromatic and other economic plants due to the wide variation of temperature and altitudes throughout the state. He said J&K could become the next hub for pharmaceutical industries in India, as the supply and logistics infrastructure in the state had slowly matured. “Besides, the availability of talent pool and specialist pharmacists has helped in growth of the pharmaceutical industry in the state,” he said, adding that it was necessary to introduce industry-friendly policies to tap the 100 billion dollar outsourcing opportunity.
Kaul said about one quarter of the children in developing countries were considered to be underweight and were at the risk of long-term effects of undernourishment. Besides, he said, more than 5 lakh prospective mothers in these countries died annually during childbirth or of complications. In this regard, he said, the role of pharmaceutical companies was especially important, “as only by cooperation of these companies, we can provide access to unaffordable drugs in developing countries,” he said, adding that poor availability and high prices were the major barriers to access to essential drugs in developing countries, including India.
He said the pharmaceutical industry had emerged as one of the leading industries in India, with domestic market showing a growth of around nine per cent to generate revenue of about Rs 554.5 billion in the fiscal 2009. He attributed the growth to several factors, including rapid urbanization, acceptance of health insurances, growing middle-class population and so on. He added that the Indian Pharma market was amongst the fastest growing industries in the world and the second fastest growing industry in India after Information Technology.
The vote of thanks was presented by Umang Narula, principal secretary, department of Industries and Commerce, J&K government.
Among others, Jaleel Ahmad Khan, economic advisor to J&K government, Prof Riyaz Punjabi, vice-chancellor Kashmir University, Dr Abdul Hameed Zargar, director SK Institute of Medical Sciences Soura, senior government officials and office bearers of Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir were present on the occasion.
The conference was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Opportunity for Investment in J&K’ that was coordinated by Dr Ajit Nagpal, chairman, Feedback Ventures Pvt Ltd.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 28 May 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 28 May 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 29 May 2010 00:00:00 IST
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