The Central government would set up 3 bulk drugs parks to make chemicals compounds or active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for medicines and reduce their imports from China, said Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers D.V. Sadananda Gowda on Friday.
"The bulk drugs parks will be set up at a cost of Rs 14,300 crore in partnership with states to make chemicals for live-saving drugs and reduce their imports from China," said Gowda in a statement on the occasion of New Year here.
Though India is the biggest exporter of medicines to the world, China is the main supplier of chemicals (APIs) used in making drugs.
"It is high time we produce also the chemicals and other raw materials used in making live-saving drugs rather than depend on China," said Gowda in a statement here.
The ministry plans to also set up 4 additional parks to make a range of medical devices as an import-substitute under the Union government's Atmanirbhar Bharat flagship programme in the pharma sector.
The Union Cabinet on March 20, 2020 approved the schemes to set up 3 bulk drug parks to make APIs and intermediates over the next 5 years.
The ministry also issued guidelines on July 27 for setting up the parks for making ingredients and medical devices.
Besides Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh are among 14 states in race to set up the parks by offering land, other facilities and incentives.
To be self-sufficient in fertilisers for increasing food production, the Centre is setting up 5 urea plants with 12-lakh tonne capacity each per year across the country at an estimated cost of Rs 50,000 crore.
"One urea plant is getting ready at Ramagundam in Telangana for commencing production soon," said Gowda.
Though the country was dependent on imports of personal protection equipment (PPE) kits and ventilators to fight coronavirus since the pandemic broke in March last year, the industry ramped up their production to 4 lakh PPEs per day.
"Amid the Covid crisis, India exported live-saving drugs to about 120 countries the world over after meeting our needs. Even the World Health Organisation (WHO) has appreciated our country's contribution in the fight against the virus," added Gowda.