Tribune News Service
Solan, January 16
To give fillip to major pharmaceutical investors, the state government has excluded the bulk drug industry from the negative list thereby paving the way for major investment in this sector.
Since the industries figuring in the negative list are not liable to any monetary incentive, the pharmaceutical investors had been hitherto shying away from investing in Himachal.
There are nearly 650 pharmaceutical industries in the state, where the share of bulk drug manufacturers was less than 2 per cent.
Morepen Labs was among the major bulk drug manufacturers here. Though the state’s industrial hub was acclaimed as the Asia’s pharmaceutical hub owing to the presence of nearly 350 units here, Hyderabad was known as the hub of bulk drug manufacturers.
As a beginning Lupin Pharma and Torrent Pharma have been given principal approval by the Single Window Clearance agency to set up bulk drug units in the state in its meeting held on Wednesday.
The move appeared to be aimed at drawing major investors, but since the quantum of pollution in these industries was much more than the formulation units the State Pollution Control Board would have a Harculean task in maintaining a check on their working.
To allay fears of pollution-related issue, the Industries Department was chalking out a strategy to address such concerns.
Director Industries Rajinder Singh, while elaborating on these measures, said a secluded zone would be allocated to bulk drug manufacturers which would be selected by the officials of the Investor Promotion Cell and the State Pollution Control Board.
He said options such as setting up of a common effluent treatment plant would be explored so that environmental issues were addressed adequately.
Since bulk drug manufactures fall in the list of 17 most polluting industries, categorised by the Central Pollution Control Board, the officials of the State Pollution Control Board would have an additional burden to monitor its online norms as it has been made compulsory from March 31.
With short staff failing to effectively monitor the existing industries it remains to be seen how these heavy polluting industries which emit a lot of water and air polluting pollutants would be made to comply with the norms.
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