Chennai : Haryana, the erstwhile popular hub of pharmaceutical formulations in the northern part of the country, is now turning out to be the centre of the medical devices industry to manufacture and sell elite medical diagnostic instruments.
Around 100 medical devices industrial units have already established their plants in the state at Karnal.
This exponential rise in the number of manufacturing units for medical instruments and equipment is happening at a time when many formulation units are closing down their production facilities and moving out of the business sector due to lack of supportive industrial policies, says P K Gupta, president of the Haryana Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (HPMA).
He said, among other issues, bureaucracy is the main hurdle for the development of the small scale industry sector in Haryana.
“The industry policies of the government most often become detrimental to the growth of small scale units, or otherwise I would say that bureaucracy is the main hurdle for the growth of the SSI sector. This is not only for the pharma manufacturing industry, but for all the industries. In Haryana, I understand that about 10% of the total units were closed down due to cumbersome regulatory policies and several more units are shrinking now without any growth. The industry cannot survive if there is no business growth as the day-to-day expenses are increasing without limit. In addition to this, the regulatory department is also acting not supportive to the industries.”
However, Gupta said, the state government brings out certain attractive projects to retain the existing units and tries to bring more companies to Haryana for a sustainable pharma market. But the implementing agencies do not act properly for the development of the industry.
HPMA finds that the government’s industry as well as regulatory policies helps only the multinational giants and the medium level players. Such companies will remain, and the SSI units will vanish from the scene very shortly unless the government takes a favorable stance towards the small scale players.
“In an interaction with Pharmabiz, the president of the HPMA said Haryana was once a prosperous industry base for pharmaceutical formulations and it was on the top. On every one out of three strips of medicines, one Haryana based manufacturer’s name was there. About 25 years ago there were 300 actively operating manufacturing units which supplied medications to the entire nation. When the rigorous Schedule M norms came, Haryana Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association worked very hard along with the government to upgrade the technologies in the facilities of the companies to become at par with global regulations and enhance the capacities. However, in later years due to tax free benefits in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh states, several units closed down their facilities here and moved to those states taking incentives. Gradually the Haryana pharmaceutical sector lost its wonderful industry atmosphere”, said Gupta.
On the side of challenges faced by the pharma sector, the industry visionary said unlike south Indian states the pharmaceutical manufacturers in Haryana faces one crucial problem and that is with regard to technical personnel and skilled labourers. As regards raw materials and distributors, they have no issues. But availability of technical-hands for the industry still continues to be a burning issue.
Talking about the developmental activities in the manufacturing sector, PK Gupta said HPMA is taking initiative with the government to set up one Pharma Park in Karnal. There is a proposal from the central government to set up one API Park and a medical devices park somewhere in Haryana. State government has good vision about the future prospects of the pharmaceutical sector although they do not provide any help for the SSIs. “We are hopeful that one pharma park will be set up in the state somehow”.