The government has earmarked Rs 500 crore for a scheme to provide support to the existing pharma clusters and MSMEs across the country to improve their productivity and sustainability, an official release said on Friday. The Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, released the guidelines for the scheme — Strengthening of Pharmaceutical Industry (SPI) — with a total financial outlay of Rs 500 crore for FY2021-22 to FY2025-26.

The scheme will address the rising demand in terms of support required for existing pharma clusters and MSMEs across the country to improve their productivity, quality and sustainability, the ministry said in a statement.

The objectives of the scheme are to strengthen the existing infrastructure facilities to make India a global leader in the pharmaceutical sector, it added.

Under the scheme, financial assistance to pharma clusters will be provided for the creation of common facilities.

This will not only improve the quality but also ensure the sustainable growth of clusters, the statement said.

“Further, in order to upgrade the production facilities of SMEs and MSMEs so as to meet national and international regulatory standards (WHO-GMP or Schedule-M), interest subvention or capital subsidy on their capital loans will be provided, which will further facilitate the growth in volumes as well as in quality,” it added.

The scheme will have three 3 components — assistance to the pharmaceutical industry for common facilities (APICF); pharmaceutical technology up-gradation assistance scheme (PTUAS); and pharmaceutical & medical devices promotion and development scheme (PMPDS), the ministry noted.

The government has earmarked Rs 178 crore for a period of five years for APICF, which would provide support for clusters for the creation of common facilities with the focus on R&D labs, testing laboratories, effluent treatment plants, logistic centres and training centres in this order of priority.

Similarly, an outlay of Rs 300 crore has been earmarked for the PTUAS for five years.

Under the PTUAS sub-scheme, support for SME industries is proposed, either through up to a maximum of 5 per cent per annum (6 per cent in case of units owned and managed by SC/STs) of interest subvention or through credit linked capital subsidy of 10 per cent.

In both cases, the loan supported under this is to a limit of Rs 10 crore.

Further, an outlay of Rs 21.5 crore has been proposed for PMPDS for the next five years. Knowledge and awareness about the pharmaceutical and medical technology industry will be promoted under the sub-scheme, the ministry said.