Hyderabad: KTR writes to Centre, seeks allocation for Pharma parks

Hyderabad: Telangana minister for IT and Industries KT Rama Rao (KTR) on Friday wrote a letter to the Centre seeking allocation of pharmaceutical parks in the state.

Addressing the Union ministry for Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers (MoC&F) KTR said, “Telangana is a state with a robust pharmaceutical sector and a vibrant ecosystem conducive for accelerated sectoral growth. While the State contributes to more than 40% of pharma production, it is also a matter of pride that Hyderabad is also known as the Vaccine Capital of the World and played a crucial role in supplying WHO-approved vaccines to the world during the pandemic.”

The minister further said, “Telangana continues to attract investments in the sector and therefore, keeping in view the sectoral growth, demand for pharma infrastructure and a robust ecosystem to support the sector towards ‘atma-nirbharta’, we had submitted an earnest application towards the ‘Bulk Drug Park’ Scheme as referenced above.”

He went on to say that it was the state’s confidence that the significant role of Hyderabad so far and its potential in steering the country towards self-sufficiency in bulk drug manufacturing will be considered objectively.

“Our proposal contained details of our flagship ‘Pharma City’ project which spread over 19000 acres is the world’s largest pharma cluster. While this project has garnered worldwide attention, unfortunately, it has not been given any consideration in the country,” KTR added.

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KTR highlighted that Telangana has made 1/3 of its contribution to the pharmaceutical industry in India.

The committee, in 2015, recommended the establishment of 6 mega parks of about 2,000 acres each with sufficient funding to set up all common environmental infrastructure, income tax rebate for 10 years, and access to soft loans at 7.5%, among others. 

However, little progress was made in this direction until recently, and realizing the urgency around the supply chain constraints during the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, the scheme was launched in the year 2020 with the objective of addressing the national health security threat posed by the dependence on imports from China and to be implemented on a war-footing basis to protect the national interest.

It may be noted that despite this effort during this period the imports rose by 23% in April-September 2021. 

“It should be noted that such biased evaluations are impacting the national interest of becoming self-reliant and as a country, we will lose any advantage that may still remain after all these delays,” the minister remarked.  

Hyderabad Pharma City proposed by Telangana is a first-of-its-kind featuring state-of-the-art infrastructure, common facilities including Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) based Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP), Integrated solid waste management facility, District heating & cooling systems, Logistic Parks, Global Pharma University, Regulatory facilitation cells, Common Drug Development & Testing Laboratories, Startup/SME Hub, etc.

The project also secured Environmental Clearance from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), GoI. More than 400 companies have expressed interest in set-up units in the park.  

KTR further mentioned that the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India recognized Hyderabad Pharma City Project as a “Project of National Importance” and has accorded the status of National Investment & Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ). Further, the Hyderabad Pharma City project is approved by National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT), GOI as a Priority node under Hyderabad – Warangal Industrial Corridor project. While the Hyderabad Pharma City project has the status of National Importance by Government of India, it is appalling that the same has not been considered for support under the scheme.”

“It is appalling that disregarding facts such as project readiness, availability of a conducive ecosystem for API manufacturing, and demand from the industry to set up manufacturing units does not come across as a rational evaluation undertaken in the best interest of the Country. In my view, it will prove to be counter-productive to the country’s efforts towards self-reliance and we will end up with under-developed and under-utilized infrastructure. This final decision will reverse the benefits of work undertaken by the Pharma industry and the resilience demonstrated during the pandemic.”

“We will continue our efforts with the same rigour, however this evaluation conducted in right spirit of achieving national interest would have only strengthened the project further and helped the country at large,” KTR concluded.