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Focus: GS-III Industry and Infrastructure

Why in news?

Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers launched four schemes of Department of Pharmaceuticals for promotion of domestic manufacturing of bulk drugs and medical devices parks in the country.


  • India is often referred to as ‘the pharmacy of the world’ and this has been proved true especially in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic when India continued to export critical lifesaving medicines to needy countries even during the countrywide lockdown.
  • However, despite these achievements, it is a matter of concern that our country is critically dependent on imports for basic raw materials, viz. Bulk Drugs (Key Starting Materials (KSMs)/ Drug Intermediates (DIs) and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs)) that are used to produce some of the essential medicines.
  • Similarly, in medical devices sector, our country is dependent on imports for more than 85% of its requirements of medical devices.

Details of what is being done:

  • The Government of India has approved four schemes, two each for Bulk Drugs and Medical Devices parks.
  • The list of products contained in the scheme guidelines will enable domestic production of more than 50 bulk drugs.
  • Financial incentives will be given to manufacturers selected under the scheme as a fixed percentage of their domestic sales of the lister products manufactured locally with required level of domestic value addition.

Scheme for promotion of Bulk Drug Parks

  • The scheme envisages creation of 3 bulk drug parks in the country.
  • The grant-in-aid will be 90% of the project cost in case of North-East and hilly States and 70% in case of other States.
  • The creation of a centre of excellence is also envisaged to enable an ecosystem for Research and Development.

Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for promoting domestic manufacturing of Medical Devices

The scheme intends to boost domestic manufacturing of medical devices in four target segments by giving financial incentives on sales.

Four target segments are:

  1. Cancer care / Radiotherapy medical devices
  2. Radiology & Imaging medical devices (both ionizing & non-ionizing   radiation products) and Nuclear Imaging devices
  3. Anaesthetics & Cardio-Respiratory medical devices including catheters of Cardio Respiratory Category & Renal Care medical devices
  4. All Implants including implantable electronic devices


  • It is expected that these schemes will make India not only self-reliant but also capable of catering to the global demand for the selected bulk drugs and medical devices.
  • This is a golden opportunity for the investors since incentivisation to industry and world-class infrastructure support simultaneously will help in bringing down the cost of production significantly.
  • These schemes along with the liberal FDI policy in these sectors and an effective corporate tax rate will give a competitive edge to India in the selected products vis-à-vis other economies.
November 2023