Focus on value, not volume: Pharma industry captains

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on February 23, 2021

Government to announce RoDEPT scheme rates soon

There is a need to identify top-priority areas in pharmaceutical research and push innovation in order to make India a global innovation hub, according to industry captains.

Participating in a CEO Conclave at BioAsia 2021 here on Tuesday, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson, Biocon, said India should have a ‘value play’ in the global pharma space instead of the present ‘volume play’.

Stressing the need to increase R&D expenditure from the current 6 per cent to at least 16 per cent, she said it would require incentives from the Government, such as 200 per cent weighted tax reduction on R&D expenditure, which has now been discontinued.

“Incentives for R&D should also cover areas such as international patent costs, to drive innovation,” Shaw added.

Speaking on the challenges of transforming India into an innovation hub, Nilesh Gupta, Managing Director, Lupin Ltd, said ‘tight’ regulation was an an issue for the industry. Greater push for innovation is needed for complex generics and biosimilars, he added.

Referring to recent government initiatives to boost exports, Swati Piramal, Vice-Chairperson, Piramal Group, pointed out that many schemes lacked clarity. There are many ‘issues’ for exporters with regard to recent revision of duties and taxes on exports, she added.

She also took exception to the price-control measures of the government as private investment in segments such as vaccines would naturally look for return on investment.


Referring to industry demands for tax sops for R&D, Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer, NITI Aayog, Government of India, said there was ‘misuse’ of weighted reduction for R&D by some players which made the Government withdraw it.

He cited the ₹25,000-crore production linked incentive scheme as testimony to government’s ‘proactive’ approach to push the pharma industry.

Stating that the pharma industry was under the purview of Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) scheme, he said, “ discussions between the commerce and revenue department are at an advanced stage and the rates will be announced soon.’’

Published on February 23, 2021

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