Govt fast tracks approvals of Pharma, Medical device projects

The thrust follows the Atmanirbhar initiative and the PLI to encourage indigenous manufacture of pharma and medical devices.

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Karnataka government has begun to expedite pharma and medical industrial project approvals as it sees investments flowing into the state. It has already cleared a slew of big ticket investments, including Jubilant Generics, Siemens, Micro Labs, Ray Lifesciences and Shilpa Medicare and is also looking to get Piramal Lifesciences on board.

In an attempt to draw investments in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, Karnataka government has tried to sell its pro-industry measures like ease-of-doing-business and opportunities for promising growth prospects.

According to Gaurav Gupta, principal secretary, Karnataka department of industries and commerce, the thrust follows the Atmanirbhar initiative and the Product Linked Incentives (PLI) to encourage indigenous manufacture of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The state is known for its favourable industrial climate and access to technical workforce.

Acknowledging the state government’s focus, investors, noted that factors making Bengaluru favourable are the technical competence of its workforce, strong healthcare ecosystem backed by solid research and reputed educational institutions.

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Karnataka’s Large and Medium Scale Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar said, “We formed an expert committee to give a fillip to industrial development in the Tier 2 and tier 3 cities. In our revised industrial policy, we assigned a Special Investment Region comprising Dharwad, Kalaburagi and Shivamogga. North Karnataka has a presence of pharma companies and the new 1,000 acre Bulk Drug Park at Kadechur-Badiyal Industrial Area in Yadgir will further boost development.”

Companies investing at the Kadechur-Badiyal Bulk Drug Park include are Jet Lifescinces, Bhagiradha Chemicals, Shilpa Medicare, Sri Monashi Lifesciences, Raoos Labs Indur Lifesciences, Hari Pharma, Astragen Labs, Sirya Fine Chemicals, Synthecis Pharma, Mabhika Organic Chem, Vibrant Pharma Chem, Sri Lakshmi Chemicals and Arouse Pharma.

“We view the Kadechur-Badiyal Industrial Area in Yadgir as a promising location for investors putting up API (active pharmaceutical ingredient) plants. The state also needs a dedicated Pharma Park for formulations which we have proposed to the government”, said Sunil Attavar, president, Karnataka Drugs and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association.

Among the recent investments are Siemens which pumped in Rs. 1,300 crore for an innovation hub in Bengaluru. Jubilant Generics slated Rs. 846 crore for its second API facility at Nanjangud. Ray Lifesciences invested Rs. 30 crore for a formulation facility in Hubballi. Shilpa Medicare is coming up with an advanced centralized R&D Centre at Dabaspete, Nelamangala Taluk, Bangalore Rural District for Formulation Development and at Yadgir for APIs.

Micro Labs invested Rs. 476 crore at Bommasandra in Bengaluru for an API unit and received the approval for 30 acres at Harohalli Industrial Area, Ramanagara for a similar investment. Acebright (India) Pharma envisaged investing Rs. 495 crore for a Greenfield facility at Harohalli industrial Area for lifesaving drugs.  

Gerd Hoefner, managing director, Siemens Healthcare said the new Bengaluru hub will include centers of competence in data analytics, artificial intelligence, augmented- virtual reality, and cyber security. When completed in 2025, the first phase will include 70,000 square meters for R&D and 5,000 square meters for manufacture.  

Mysuru Infra Hub under Karnataka Industrial Area Development stated,” Jubilant Generics API facility is cleared by the State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority. The Greenfield unit is coming up next to its existing API unit which will generate 1,000 permanent and 400 contract jobs.”

According to Anjan K Roy, chairman, Ray Lifesciences, our new formulation unit, close to the Hubbali industrial zone is for production of therapeutic small volume parentrals .

Vishnukant Bhutada, managing director Shipla Medicare said that investments at Dabaspete and at the Kadechur-Badiyal Bulk Drug Park were over Rs. 200 crore.

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