2015 – Year of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients” launched



“2015 – Year of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients” launched; Chemicals & Fertilizers Minister assures Pharmaceutical Industry of reforms to make India self-sufficient in Bulk Drugs


The Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers Sh. Ananth Kumar has assured the Pharmaceutical Industry that appropriate decisions will be taken soon so that India becomes self-sufficient in the Bulk Drugs. Speaking at the launch ceremony of “2015 – Year of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients” here today he said that the Government is committed to usher in reforms and good governance, and promote the concept of “Make in India”. He said that the Government had set up Katoch Committee to look into various issues concerning the bulk drugs, and its recommendations have been received which will be implemented expeditiously after taking the Cabinet’s approval. Sh. Ananth Kumar said that the Bulk Drugs constitute the backbone of the Pharmaceutical Industry and the sector needs to be incentivized so as to take on the challenge from cheap imports. The Minster said that there can be no compromise with the quality, environmental requirements or regulatory necessities but the issues hampering the growth of the industry have to be addressed. He said over-dependence on imports from one country for bulk drugs is detrimental to the country’s interest and hence, paradigm shift is necessary.

Sh. Ananth Kumar said that in formulations, India is a world leader and there is no reason why we should not be in the bulk drugs sector also. He said the Government is committed to support the bulk drug industry and revival of Public Sector Undertakings of the sector is on the anvil. Discussions with State Governments are also going on to solicit their cooperation for setting up Mega Pharma Parks. He called upon the industry to tap the skilled manpower and potential of the country and come up with an action plan for strengthening the Bulk Drugs Sector.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers Sh. Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said that more research and development activities need to be taken in this sector. He called for industry-government cooperation to give boost to the Bulk Drugs Industry.

Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals Dr. V.K. Subburaj said that there is an urgent need to bring about self-sufficiency in the field of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API). He said that the Government is taking steps to reduce dependence on imports and initiate good policy measures to support the industry.

India is very much dependent on import from a single source for basic chemicals, intermediates and APIs for many commonly used medicines. To avoid the price and supply risks associated with such situation and ensure assured and sustained availability of these basic inputs to formulation sector, there is a felt need to focus the attention to promote the manufacturing of API in India. This is also consistent with the avowed objective of the government regarding ‘Make in India’. In recognition of the situation, Department of Pharmaceuticals has declared the Year 2015 as the Year of API. The Government will take measures to facilitate the growth of the sector and also interact with the industry on a more regular basis to improve G2B interactions and promote better and more coordinated efforts to achieve the objective of ‘Make in India’, especially for the API sector.


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Share of US, Russia, China And Japan in Foreign Trade

Percentage Share of countries like Japan, USA, China, Russia in India’s foreign Trade is as follows:


2013-14
2014-2015(Apr-Dec)
Countries
Export
Import
Total Trade
Export
Import
Total Trade
Japan
2.17
2.11
2.13
1.72
2.23
2.03
USA
12.45
5.00
8.06
13.76
4.63
8.31
China
4.72
11.34
8.61
3.88
13.12
9.40
Russia
0.67
0.87
0.79
0.70
0.94
0.85

India, based on its economic interests, explores possibilities of Free Trade Agreements with various countries, as a way to enhance trade and investment. During 2014-15 (Apr-Feb), Government has taken several steps to improve trade relations with other countries. Details of some of the activities /events are as under:-

(i)        27th International Pharmaceutical R&D and Manufacturing Expo/Conference was held on 2nd July, 2014 in Tokyo.
(ii)      Meeting of WTO was held in Geneva on July 2nd   2014.
(iii)    ASEAN Economic Minister’s (AEM) meeting was held on 26th August, 2014.
(iv)    7th Indian-Oman Joint Commission meeting was held on 29th October, 2014.
(v)      2nd India – CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) Business Conclave was held on 10th December, 2014 in New Delhi.
(vi)    Meeting of India – Vietnam Sub-Commission on Trade was held on 21st January 2015.
(vii)  7th India-Kenya Joint Trade Committee Meeting was held on 12th February, 2015 in New Delhi.
(viii)   5th India-Myanmar Joint Trade Committee Meeting was held in Nay Pai Taw on 17th February, 2015.



This information was given by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

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Fall in Price of Crude Oil Vis-A-Vis Fall in Rupee Against Dollar

It is estimated that for every one USD decrease in crude price, the country’s import bill decreases by around Rs. 8,578 crore (Eight Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy Eight Crores). If the rupee appreciates vis-à-vis US Dollar then for every one rupee appreciation in exchange rate, the country’s crude oil import bill decreases by around Rs. 12,328 crore (Twelve Thousand, Three Hundred and Twenty Eight Crores).

The Government continuously monitors the export/import performance of different sectors, including Crude oil and need-based corrective measures are taken from time to time keeping in view the financial and overall economic implications.

This information was given by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

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Rate of Industrial Growth

The industrial performance measured in terms of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) reflects movements in the monthly production of manufacturing, mining and electricity over base of 2004-05, which is released by Central Statistics Office (CSO) every month. As per IIP, the industrial growth in the country was 5.3 % in 2009-10, 8.2 % in 2010-11, 2.9 % in 2011-12, 1.1 % in 2012-13 and (-) 0.1 % in 2013-14. IIP has thereafter recorded a positive growth of 2.1% (Provisional) during April-December in the current year.

Several initiatives have been taken recently to give the necessary thrust for attracting investment in the industrial sector which enhances job opportunities, through policy amendments, procedural simplifications as well as promotional measures. These include pruning the list of industries that can be considered as defence industries requiring industrial license, two extensions of two years each in the initial validity of three years of the industrial license permitted up to seven years, removal of stipulation of annual capacity in the industrial license, and deregulating the annual capacity for defence items for Industrial License. Certain instances of inverted duty structure affecting domestic industry have been addressed. The recent amendments in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy include allowing FDI in Defence up to 49% and FDI in Railway infrastructure up to 100%, easing the norms for FDI in construction and exempting FDI in medical devices from sectoral restrictions of pharmaceuticals.

Improvement in ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in India through simplification and rationalization of the existing rules and use of information technology to make governance more efficient and effective has been taken up. Integration of 14 Central Services through the e-Biz Platform has been already completed. The Government has launched a “Make in India” initiative with 25 thrust sectors to provide a major push to manufacturing in India. Information on the thrust sectors has been put up on ‘Make in India’s web portal (http://www.makeinindia.com) along with details of FDI Policy, National Manufacturing Policy, Intellectual Property Rights and the envisaged National Industrial Corridors including the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor. An Investor Facilitation Cell, with back end support up to the State level has also been created in ‘Invest India’ to assist, guide, hand-hold and facilitate investors during the various phases of the business life cycle.

This information was given by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

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Measures for Price Stabilisation in Tea Industry

Government has been implementing the Price Stabilisation Scheme (PSF) and Plantation Crop Insurance Scheme (PCIS) since 2003 which came to an end on 30.09.2013. Presently no subsidy scheme is available for stabilisation of prices in tea industry for helping small and medium plantation holders.

Tea Board provides support for marketing of produce of small and medium plantation holders through auction centres at Guwahati, Kolkata, Siliguri, Jalpaiguri, Cochin, Coimbatore and Coonoor. Tea Board also provides assistance towards meeting additional transport & handling charges incurred for teas exported through ICD Amingaon, marketing of Packaged Teas of Indian Origin (Brand Support) and participation in international fairs and exhibitions.

Under the “Tea Development and Promotion Scheme” of the Tea Board during the XII Plan, the unit cost of replantation including the crop loss for the gestation period is included in the subsidy provided to tea growers. The XII Plan scheme includes provisions of subsidy for replantation, replacement planting, rejuvenation pruning, extension planting, irrigation and mechanisation covering an area of approximately 74,400 ha., including the small holdings. An outlay of Rs.482.90 Cr. is earmarked for the purpose. The scheme aims at increasing production, field productivity and quality of Tea.

This information was given by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

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Extension of Deadline for SEZ Developers

In terms of Rule 6(2)(a) of the Special Economic Zones Rules, 2006, the letter of approval granted to a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) developer is valid for a period of three years within which time effective steps are to be taken by the developer to implement the approved project. The Board of Approval may, on an application by the developer, extend the validity period of the letter of approval. In last three years and current year, 224 Developers have sought extension of time for the execution of their projects including one Developer from the State of Jharkhand, i.e. Adityapur Industrial Area Development Authority for setting up a SEZ at Adityapur, Jharkhand. Out of the said 224 applicants, 211 Developers have been granted extension of time, including Adityapur Industrial Area Development Authority.

This information was given by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

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TRAI issues Regulations on Termination Charges

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today issued the “Telecommunication Interconnection Usage Charges (Eleventh Amendment) Regulations” which prescribe revised domestic termination charge (Mobile Termination Charges and Fixed Termination Charges) and International Termination Charges.

Domestic termination charges are the charges payable by a Telecom Service Provider (TSP) whose subscriber originates the call, to the TSP in whose network the call terminates. In the prevailing Calling Party Pays (CPP) regime, the calling party subscriber pays for the call to his TSP who, in turn, pays termination charges to the called party’s TSP to cover the interconnection/network usage costs.  International Termination Charges (ITC) are the charges payable by an International Long Distance Operator (ILDO), which is carrying calls from outside the country to a TSP in the country in whose network the call terminates.      

Key features of the Regulations are as follows:

·               Mobile Termination Charge (MTC) for all calls originating from wireless network has been reduced from 20 paise per minute to 14 paisa per minute;

·               To promote investment and adoption of wireline network (so that they become an effective vehicle for delivery of high speed internet in the country) the Authority has decided to prescribe Fixed Termination Charges (FTC) as well as MTC for wireline to wireless calls as zero.  Accordingly,

·            MTC for all calls originating from wireline has been set to zero;

·            FTC for all calls originating either from wireline network or from wireless network has been set to zero;

·               Termination charge for international incoming calls has been increased to 53 paisa per minute from existing 40 paisa per minute;

The prevailing Interconnection Usage Charge (IUC) Regulation was notified on 9th March, 2009 and came into effect from 1st April, 2009. In the past, revision in the IUC regime has been undertaken on a regular basis with an interval of 2-3 years.  However, as the matter was pending before the Hon’ble Supreme Court since 2010, the IUC review could not be conducted though it was due.  As a significant amount of time (five years) has elapsed since the last review, the Authority initiated this review of the IUC regime in November, 2014.

As a precursor to the exercise, the Authority asked TSPs to submit information related to network usage and costs.  Subsequently the Authority issued a consultation paper on 19.11.2014 to seek the views of the stakeholders on various aspects of the IUC.  Stakeholders were asked to submit written comments by 11.12.2014 and counter-comments by 18.12.2014. On the request of some stakeholders, the dates for submission of comments and counter-comments were extended up-to 22.12.2014 and 29.12.2014 respectively. Written comments were received from two industry associations, 15 TSPs and 47 other stakeholders, including companies, organizations, firms and individuals. Counter-comments were received from six TSPs and one individual. An Open House Discussion was held on 09.01.2015 in Delhi with stakeholders.

On the basis of comments received from stakeholders either in writing or during the Open House Discussion, the Authority has prescribed revised domestic and international termination charges through these Regualtions.

Full text of the “Telecommunication Interconnection Usage Charges (Eleventh Amendment) Regulations” are available on TRAI’s website: www.trai.gov.in.

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TRAI issued the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has today issued 6th Amendment to the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulation, 2009 which will facilitate Full MNP (PAN India Portability) in the country w.e.f. 3rd May, 2015.

Earlier TRAI made recommendations to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for implementation of Full MNP/National MNP and suggested amendments in the licenses of MNP service providers and mobile service providers.

Accordingly, on 3rd November, 2014, the DoT had issued amendment(s) to the MNP License Agreement.  As per the DoT, the Full MNP is to be implemented in the country within a period of 6 months from the date of amendment to the Licenses, i.e. 3rd May, 2015.

In view of the implementation of Full Mobile Number Portability, some changes were required in the MNP Regulations, 2009 (as amended).  Accordingly, a draft Amendment to the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulation, 2009 was prepared and uploaded on TRAI website (www.trai.gov.in) for consultation with the stakeholders. Based on stakeholder’s comments & in house analysis, necessary amendments have been made in the MNP Regulations.

Accordingly, in this Amendment, apart from facilitating Pan-India Portability, a few changes have also been made in the porting process as well, which include:
a)                 In case a post-paid subscriber who has ported his number defaults in the payment of his previous bill which was due to the Donor Operator(previous service provider from whom the subscriber has ported out), the Donor Operator has to give a notice within a period of 30 days of due date of payment of its outstanding bill.  After a lapse of 60 days from the due date of payment of the outstanding bill, the Donor Operator will not be entitled to raise non-payment disconnection requests with the Recipient Operator.
b)       For a post paid subscriber who has defaulted payment to the Donor Operator, the Donor operator will request the Recipient operator to disconnect the ported number. The Recipient Operator in turn will give a notice of 15 days for making such payment, failing which the outgoing services of such subscriber will be debarred for a period of 15 days.  In case the subscriber fails to make payment within these 15 days, his mobile number will be disconnected permanently by the Recipient Operator.

In order to effectively utilize the numbering resources, provision has been made to reduce the time period for a ported mobile number, which has been disconnected due to any reasons, to return to the original service provider (to whom the number belongs) in 60 days time instead of 90 days prescribed earlier.

Full text of the ‘Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability (Sixth Amendment) Regulations, 2015’ is available on TRAI website www.trai.gov.in.


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Internet Safety Campaign to be Launched in India in Collaboration with Cert-In and Google


            The Department of Electronics and Information and Technology in collaboration with Google and Computer Emergency Response Team-India (Cert-In) are to launch an Internet Safety Campaign in the country. The First Round Table this regard was hosted by MyGov in collaboration with Google and the Cert-In in New Delhi today.  Measures to take internet safety practices for two specific target groups- government officials, children and young adults were discussed at the round table.  Over 650 ideas received from MyGov users on the issue were also presented during the today’s meeting and were debated upon.

            As a precursor to the round table, MyGov had announced a poster making contest and online discussion among teens and youth in India to celebrate Internet Safety Week from 10th to 17th February 2015. The winners of the contest were also announced at the Round Table:

            Sahad A, Thiruvilwamala Kerala
            Satish Kumar, Delhi
            Saurav Singh, Delhi

            Additional Secretary, DeitY, Shri Tapan Ray chaired the round table, which was attended  by Joint Secretary, DeitY, Dr. Rajendra Kumar, CEO MyGov, Shri Gaurav Dwivedi, Representatives from Google India, NCERT, CBSE, Cert-In, the New Media Wing of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

            Additional Secretary DeitY, Shri Tapan Ray, while speaking at the round table, laid out the vision of the Department in promoting Digital India which is also to be Safe Digital India and complimented MyGov`s efforts in inviting suggestions from citizens in educating the youth on how to be digitally safe.  As part of the Digital Literacy and Internet Safety Campaign initiated by MyGov, Shri Ray suggested a year round programme to raise awareness of key policy makers on issues of internet safety. The programme would include roundtables, workshops, Security Cafes, and contests for young adults, policymakers, and NGOs.

            Speaking about the initiative, MyGov CEO, Shri Gaurav Dwivedi stated, "We are happy to partner with Google and Cert-In in the cyber security education and awareness campaign.  The Internet offers many opportunities to explore create and collaborate. We are starting a nationwide campaign sensitizing our youth and policy makers in Mission Safer Internet. Google and Cert-In are our partners in this effort and are committed to keeping our users safe and secure."

            MyGov, in collaboration with all stakeholders, is also expected to issue awareness guidelines soon on various safety measures which can be followed by Government Officials, schools, guardians and other vulnerable sections.

            The Head Public Policy India of Google Shri Chetan Krishnaswamy, has said - “The Internet has brought a number of incredible things to the world. But it’s also important that it be a safe space for families to explore, learn and enjoy together. To enable this and ensure that families and young people across India are safe, we’re working with CERT- In and MyGov to get the word out about good Internet practices and how to keep users safe online. “
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National Optical Fibre Network

            National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) aims to connect all Gram Panchayats in the country through optical fibre cable (OFC) by bridging the connectivity gap between Gram Panchayats and Blocks for providing broadband. Giving this information in Lok Sabha today the Minister of Communication and Information Technology Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad said all out efforts are being made to achieve this objective in a time bound manner. He  said a Multi-pronged strategy for execution of work for accelerated implementation of the project  is being adopted.  The minister also gave State-wise details :.

 State wise performance of NOFN Project as on 15.02.2015
Sl. No.
State/ Union Territory
Total GPs
GPs in Phase-I
No. of Blocks
Pipe laid (Kms)
Cable laid (Kms)
GPs for which cable laid
Tender finalised
Work Order issued
Work started
1
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
69
69
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
Andhra Pradesh
12831
0
112
112
79
1651
19
3
3
Arunachal Pradesh
1766
447
8
8
1
10
0
0
4
Assam
2589
997
76
68
53
683
340
92
5
Bihar
8364
5202
226
160
121
2260
1500
341
6
Chandigarh
17
17
1
1
1
15
14
9
7
Chhattisgarh
9770
1963
33
27
21
1525
900
156
8
Dadra & Nagar Haveli
17
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
9
Daman & Diu
9
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
10
Gujarat
14050
5047
49
49
33
1215
534
243
11
Haryana
6079
4224
84
79
66
1223
767
579
12
Himachal Pradesh
3243
1299
4
4
1
0
0
0
13
Jammu & Kashmir
4099
635
9
3
1
3
0
0
14
Jharkhand
4423
1408
62
62
41
723
82
17
15
Karnataka
5631
5631
136
136
135
4586
3200
2097
16
Kerala
977
977
152
152
149
511
455
672
17
Lakshadweep
10
10
9
0
0
0
0
0
18
Madhya Pradesh
23024
10516
118
101
91
5468
3279
491
19
Maharashtra
27987
11520
132
69
68
1968
1129
482
20
Manipur
2794
310
14
14
3
137
0
0
21
Meghalaya
1208
589
0
0
0
0
0
0
22
Mizoram
645
290
0
0
0
0
0
0
23
Nagaland
1124
246
2
2
2
60
0
0
24
Odisha
6235
3298
124
124
70
1080
446
143
25
Puducherry
98
98
3
3
3
52
38
36
26
Punjab
12949
6034
56
37
33
645
399
234
27
Rajasthan
9157
6905
116
96
94
2304
1571
531
28
Sikkim
163
55
0
0
0
0
0
0
29
Tamilnadu
12541
450
0
0
0
0
0
0
30
Telangana
8770
2180
93
93
58
577
37
14
31
Tripura
1021
618
44
44
13
439
151
17
32
Uttar Pradesh
51970
22036
281
98
86
2885
2062
1087
33
Uttarakhand
7555
1767
20
18
14
361
250
161
34
West Bengal
3354
2642
96
53
38
469
181
65
35
Goa*
190
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
36
Delhi
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

Grand Total
244729
97480
2060
1613
1275
30851
17355
7470

2015 – Year of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients” launched 2015 – Year of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients” launched Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 3:07 PM Rating: 5

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