Companies

Biocon chief bats for easing controls on biotech sector

PTI Bengaluru | Updated on November 29, 2018 Published on November 29, 2018

Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Biotech company Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said in a statement on Thursday that the previous UPA and the ruling Narendra Modi-headed governments have taken some good steps but could have done more to improve the economy.

“The erstwhile UPA regime and the present Modi government have taken some good steps, but have not done enough to improve the economy,” Shaw told PTI in an interview after the inauguration of Bengaluru Tech Summit 2018.

She said this when asked to comment on the performance of the UPA and Modi regimes in the uplift of the economy.

However, she credited Modi government for implementing goods and services tax (GST) which was initiated by the UPA government.

However, there are some issues that need to be addressed: easing regulations to help businesses and the economy grow, she said.

“I think GST is a big game-changer, which was initiated by the previous government but we must give credit to this (Modi) government for implementing it, but there are many other things one should look at: easing regulations and staying away from controlling many of the new technology sectors, because the more you free them up, the more they will thrive,” she said.

Tax reform has had a minimal impact on the biotechnology sector because it is an export-oriented business, Shaw said.

However, the sector is heavily regulated and felt the regulations must ease further, she said.

“For instance, the biodiversity Act is draconian and we have told the government to change the Act, otherwise it will kill this sector, yet no action has been taken on that front, we need action on it,” she said.

The biotech sector can benefit a lot if more GM crops were approved because the agri-biotech sector is a 11-billion US dollar sector, of which 90 per cent is BT cotton, Shaw said.

As far as biotech drugs were concerned, the government has done a lot but it should need to focus also on non-communicable diseases in a big way, Shaw said.

Published on November 29, 2018
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