Wednesday, February 17, 2010

 

Biotech sector and the Budget

CMD of Biocon Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said in an interview that indigenous biotech products must have more favourable terms than MNCs who enjoy higher prices from National Pharma Pricing Authority (NPPA) and cross subsidise their tender prices as a result. "Only India has such a skewed policy that acts against its own industry!"
Business Standard
Another important requirement for the industry was adoption of Clause 10AA of the SEZ Act with retrospective effect. This was a long-standing issue yet to be resolved, she said. According to her, the Finance Minister admitted committing an error when rolling out the SEZ policy and took corrective action but prospectively - this is unfair to those who invested in setting up manufacturing SEZ like Serum Institute of India and Biocon (India's top two biotech firms). "This has prompted Biocon to opt for overseas operations that offer better investment terms -- example Malaysia", she said.

President of the Association of Biotechnology Enterprises (ABLE) and Managing Director of Metahelix Life Sciences, K K Narayanan, said, "To promote the agri-biotech R&D investments, Government may also consider income-tax holiday for ten years on the lines similar to IT industry." Among other biotech sector from this year's Budget are: import duty exemption on equipment and instrumentation, and 200 per cent weighted average tax deduction on all R & D and patenting costs.



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