Mumbai : The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) has invited online applications from eligible pharma clusters and pharma Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to avail assistance under the two sub-schemes of the Scheme for Strengthening of Pharmaceuticals Industry (SPI) from August 1, 2022.

Pharma clusters may apply for availing support under the component of the Scheme- Assistance to Pharmaceutical Industry for Common Facilities (APICF) in clusters. Applications for APICF would be ranked as per scheme guidelines. Application submission started from August 1, 2022. Last date for submission of applications is September 30, 2022.

APICF is among three sub-schemes rolled out by the government on July 21, 2022 under the banner of ‘Strengthening Pharmaceuticals Industry’ (SPI) to strengthen Pharma Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The other two are Pharmaceutical Technology Upgradation Assistance Scheme (PTUAS) and Pharmaceutical & Medical Devices Promotion and Development Scheme (PMPDS).

APICF aims to strengthen the existing pharmaceutical clusters’ capacity for their sustained growth by creating tangible assets as “Common Facilities”. It provides for an assistance of up to 70 per cent of the approved project cost or Rs. 20 crore, whichever is less.

In case of Himalayan and north-east region, the grant-in-aid would be Rs. 20 crore per cluster or 90 per cent of the project cost, whichever is less.

Besides this, DoP also invited online applications from individual pharma MSME units to avail capital subsidy or interest subvention under PTUAS for upgrading their units. Applications for PTUAS would be considered on a first come first served basis. Application submission commenced from August 1, 2022.

PTUAS aims to facilitate MSME of proven track record to upgrade their technology to meet WHO-GMP or Schedule M standards.

The scheme has provisions for a capital subsidy of 10 per cent on loans up to a maximum limit of Rs. 10 crore with a minimum repayment period of three years or interest subvention of up to 5 per cent (6 per cent in case of units owned by SC/ST) on reducing balance basis. Minimum repayment period of the loan sanctioned for availing of the benefit under the scheme is 3 years.

SIDBI is the project management consultant for implementing the scheme.

Hailing the scheme, Amit Chawla, secretary, Madhya Pradesh Small Scale Drug Manufacturers’ Association said “We appreciate the efforts taken by the government to implement a scheme for strengthening the pharmaceuticals industry. We believe this will improve productivity and sustainability of pharma MSMEs. It will boost competitiveness and cost efficiency of MSMEs globally. MSMEs are heavily impacted by Covid-19 pandemic. These schemes will give a much needed boost to them.”