Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, interacted with the captains of the pharma industry, and Office-bearers of the pharma associations, through a video conference. The meeting was attended by the Ministers of State HS Puri and Som Parkash, Secretaries of the Department of Commerce, and Pharmaceuticals, and officers from departments of commerce, pharma and health.
During his interaction, Goyal lauded the pharma industry for making India proud, by rising to the occasion during the COVID crisis. He said that India has been recognised as the ‘Pharmacy of the World’, as over 120 countries got some essential medicines, during the last two months, including 40 of them getting them in the form of a grant, free of cost. He said that during the crisis, the officials of DGFT, MEA, Health and DoP have burnt the midnight oil to ensure that the export consignments are delivered at the earliest.
The whole world appreciated India’s gesture, and this has swelled India’s goodwill and reputation. He said that India had adequate production capacity and abundant stock of HCQ and PCM for its projected domestic requirements, and putting restrictions on their exports was to ensure that the medicines are made available to all the needy nations, and no unscrupulous element stocks them for unwarranted gains.
The pharma industry received accolades from the Minister for their extraordinary performance, in ensuring that the Country did not face any type of shortage of medicines during this period. Goyal assured the industry that the government will fully support the industry in its expansion, diversification and strengthening. He said that the industry has an important role to play in the Aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign. The country should become Aatmanirbhar in APIs as early as possible, as the government has taken a number of steps in this regard.
It has already approved the scheme on the promotion of bulk drug parks for financing common infrastructure facilities in three bulk drug parks. Also, Production Linked Incentive Scheme for promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical KSMs/Drug Intermediates and APIs in the country has been given a go-ahead. The Minister said that the anti-dumping investigation process has been expedited. The Minister said that in case of ongoing bilateral FTAs, if any roadblock or unfair competition is being noticed, the Government may be informed and prompt remedial action will be taken.
He said they should look at the large untapped market in Eastern Europe and Russia. Calling upon a collaborative route in the R&D efforts, Goyal said that academicians, universities, ICMR and private sector should join hands. Informing the gathering that the Government has decided to disinvest in certain pharma PSUs, the Minister invited the Indian companies to use PSUs for plug and play model of manufacturing. The Minister assured the industry that all suggestions presented in the meeting will be quickly examined and wherever required, the inter-ministerial consultations will be completed at the earliest.