First medical devices park of country to come up in Gujarat

Plans afoot for polymer and pharma parks as well

Gujarat to house country's first medical devices park

If things go according to plan, Gujarat may house country's first medical devices park. Pharma and polymer parks too are under consideration, senior Union minister said here today.

Speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the new campus of the National Institute of of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) at Gandhinagar, Ananth Kumar, union minister of chemicals and fertilisers, government of India outlined the government's plans to have the country's first medical devices park in Gujarat.

"Gujarat is also the hub for pharmaceuticals and polymer manufacturing. We thus have plans to set up a pharmaceutical park here as well along with a polymer park," Kumar said.

He added that the Centre had plans to set up Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET) campus at the polymer park here in Gujarat to train students and industry. CIPET is an autonomous institute under the department of chemicals and petrochemicals, Ministry of chemicals and fertilisers.

"We have sought 5 acres of land at Sanand for the polymer park and hope that the government would allot land at concessional rates," he said at the event.

Responding to the minister's request, Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel immediately pointed out that the state government had allotted land (valued at Rs 400 crore) for developing a National Security Hub to the National Security Guard (NSG) for a token amount of Re1 only.

She invited representatives from the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers to identify a suitable location at Sanand for the polymer park and that the state government would facilitate the process.

As for the medical devices park, Kumar's ministry is already in talks with the finance ministry to incentivise making in India. The task-force headed by pharmaceuticals secretary V K Subburaj has recommended that import of used diagnostic equipment be banned or made stringent along with reducing duty on import of raw materials for production of medical devices.

The medical devices retail market in the country is pegged at about Rs 60,000-70,000 crore.

Kumar highlighted that while India was making one in every three tablets/capsules taken by any patient globally, it lagged behind in the medical devices space. Gujarat, in fact, accounted for one in every six formulations taken by patients globally.

Keeping Gujarat's contribution in the Indian pharmaceutical sector in mind, the Centre is setting up the NIPER campus spread over 60 acres here in Gandhinagar. It would be completed in three year's time at a cost of Rs 497.5 crore.