Sunday, October 28, 2007
The Centre has proposed to set up export processing zones for traditional Indian medicines in partnership with private entrepreneurs to boost overseas sales of ethnic herbs, which stood at Rs 900 crore in 2006-07.
A detailed report is being prepared for the zone in Chattisgarh and the project is expected to be operational by next year, Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh said here on Friday.
"A processing zone for medicinal plants is proposed to be set up in Chattisgarh and once the pilot project fructifies, we would replicate the model in other states of Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand," he said at the inauguration of 'Arogya', an international fair on alternative systems of Indian medicines.
While the government would provide infrastructure and technical assistance for the zones, investments would come from private entrepreneurs, Ramesh said, adding that the units would cater to both domestic and export markets.
India's export of herbal plant-based medicines stood at Rs 900 crore in 2006-07. Primary products such as plants, herbs and semi-processed produce constituted 60 per cent of the total exports, while value-added products were a minimal 40 per cent.
"We need to increase the proportion of value-added products in our export basket and ensure that they conform to highest global standards," he said. Export of medicinal plants has been growing annually at 15 per cent.
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