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New orientation for Pharma PSU's, PCPIR on the anvil

Written by: Staff

Pune, Aug 31 (UNI) Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Ram Vilas Paswan today said that efforts are on to revive the remaining two of the five Pharma Public Sector Units while creating five infrastructure driven Petroleum Chemical Petro-Chemical investment Region(PCPIR) on lines of Special Economic Zones(SEZ) to attract foreign investments.

Talking to reporters after launching the focussing Antiretroviral Medicines manufactured by Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd(HAL), the minister said that the UPA government had already initiated the process of revival of three PSU's, the HAL, Hindustan Insecticides Ltd (HIL) and Hindustan Chemicals Ltd(HCL) while a proposal to revive Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd(IDPL) and Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals LTD(BCPL) will be submitted soon.

As part of the revival plan for HAL, a new marketing strategy has been worked out for the launch of several new products like Ceuroxime, Ceftriaxone, Ceforperazone, Ciprofloxacin and other Antibiotics. HAL will continue to produce premium and strategic products like Plasma Volume Expander, Bio-Fertiliser(for agriculture) and Bio-Pesticides, he said.

The minister said of the rehabilitation package of Rs 500 crore for HAL, there has been a fresh cash infusion of Rs 137 crore that will help the company to meet bank liabilities and enable it to get working capital to upgrade facilities. The production of Rs 50 cr will go upto Rs 80 cr in the first year of revival and likely to touch Rs 150 cr in 2008-09. The revival package would enable HAL to manufacture Life Saving drugs so as to keep check on prices of some of the essential drugs used by common masses.

When asked about the marketing policy, the minister said that as per the decision of the UPA government, a purchase preference policy, the Central government would purchase medicines of Pharma PSu's and their subsidiaries for 102 drugs manufactured by them.

This would give an additional market of Rs 300 crore to Pharma PSU's.

Talking about the Pharma sector and its new vision, Secretary in the ministry Ms S Reddy said that a proposal will be sent to the cabinet shortly for generating income from resources like land for creating PCPIR. There is enough land and we need 250 square kms for refineries, crackers and plastics zones. The site selected would be close to coasts where there is air, port and rail connectivity.

Moreover, other spaces would be used for education trainings of Pharma courses for boys and girls to create trained and skilled man power in Pharma Sector. For the purpose, a Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technical (CIPET) at Aurangabad will come up and also as part of the new role, Pharma PSU's would be encouraged to undertake R&D through CSIR, NIPER and other Central Research Laboratories. Expert committees have been appointed to identify the zones and most state governments have evinced interest, but a decision on locations will be taken by the government, she said.

The Pharma PSU's will be reoriented to manufacture life saving drugs for diseases like Kala Azar, Malaria and Tuberculosis HIV/AIDS where the private sector is not inclined to produce drugs, she added.


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