New Delhi : Bulk drug and drug intermediates imports from China to India have increased by around 20 per cent in the fiscal year 2021-22, and accounted for almost 66 per cent of the total imports during the year. Export of bulk drugs and drug intermediates from India to other countries, during the fiscal year inched up 1.4 per cent during FY 2021-22 as compared to previous year, according to data from the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers.
The imports from China during the fiscal year 2021-22 was Rs. 23,273 crore, as compared to Rs. 19,403 crore during the previous fiscal year. The growth of imports compared to FY 2019-20 was almost 41.5 per cent in 2021-22, as the year 2019-20 reported imports of Rs.16,443 crore worth of bulk drugs and intermediates from China.
In terms of quantity, the imports from China were at 2.65 lakh MT during 2021-22, as compared to 2.57 lakh MT in 2020-21 and 2.21 lakh MT in 2019-20.
The total imports of bulk drugs and intermediates were at Rs. 35,249 crore, which is 4 lakh MT during FY 2021-22, as compared to Rs. 28,529 crore at 3.90 lakh MT during the previous fiscal, registering a 23.55 per cent growth in terms of value. In the year 2019-20, the country imported Rs. 24,172 crore worth of bulk drugs and drug intermediates, which was around 3.64 lakh MT in terms of volume.
With the exports registering a meagre 1.4 per cent growth in the year 2021-22, the imports was almost six per cent higher than exports during the year. The total exports of bulk drugs and intermediates during the year 2021-22 was Rs. 33,320 crore (4.53 lakh MT), as compared to Rs. 32,857 crore (3.24 lakh MT) in the years 2020-21 and Rs.27,533 crore (2.71 lakh MT) in 2019-20.
“India is one of the major producers of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) or bulk drugs in the world. India exported bulk drugs/drug intermediates worth Rs. 33,320 crore in the financial year 2021-22. However, the country also imports various bulk drugs/APIs for producing medicines from various countries including China,” said Bhagwanth Khuba, minister of state in the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers in the Lok Sabha.
“Most of the imports of the bulk drug/APIs being done in the country are because of economic considerations and also, China is one of the largest producers of KSMs and APIs in the world,” he added.
During the year 2021-22, the country has exported pharmaceuticals worth Rs. 1,75,040 crore as compared to Rs. 1,74,064 crore, with a less than one per cent growth though in terms of volume, it has registered a growth of 67.4 per cent at 10,75,906 MT as compared to 6,42,718 MT during the year 2020-21.
The Minister said that the government strives on minimising the country’s dependence on imports and to give fillip to indigenous manufacturing. In order to make the country self-reliant in APIs and drug intermediates, the Department of Pharmaceuticals is implementing three schemes – the production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical key starting materials (KSMs)/drug intermediates and APIs in India with a financial outlay of Rs. 6,490 crore; PLI scheme for pharmaceuticals with a financial outlay of Rs. 15,000 crore; and the Scheme for Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks with a financial outlay of Rs. 3,000 crore.