Boost to foreign investment in Pharma sector as FIIs investments

Boost to foreign investment in Pharma sector as FIIs investments in Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. and Glenmark Pharmaceutical Ltd. Approved

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, today approved two significant foreign investments in the pharmaceutical sector. Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. are engaged in manufacturing generic pharmaceuticals and active pharma ingredients, and approvals have been given for Qualified Institutional Buyers to infuse fresh equity of upto 7 percent amounting to about Rs. 2165 crore into the company. The existing FII shareholding is 27.32 percent in the company. This will enable the company to expand its operations in the areas of anti infective, cardiovascular and central nervous system related ingredients. Aurobindo Pharma employs more than 9500 professionals from 26 countries.

In Glenmark Pharmaceutical Ltd. the company has increased the foreign investment limit by FIIs from 35.07 percent to 49 percent. This will result in an inflow of about Rs. 2022 crore. Apart from manufacturing pharmaceuticals, the company is also engaged in Research and Development activities in drugs. Glenmark Pharmaceuticals is a US$ 1 billion Indian pharmaceutical company, with a global presence with manufacturing facilities in India, Europe and South America.

Both companies are promoted by Indian entrepreneurs who have developed a global footprint over the years. The companies are required to continue to produce medicines under the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) at the same levels as they had been doing in the past. These companies are also required to maintain R&D expenditure at the maximum levels incurred in the past three years and to provide complete information regarding transfer of technology that has been done. This underscores the importance given by the Government to strengthening healthcare in the country, by ensuring availability of drugs to the people at reasonable prices.

These investments show the continued confidence of international investors in the domestic Intellectual Property Regime in the pharmaceutical sector.

By investing in Research and Development, these companies have become players in the global pharmaceutical market and exemplify “Make in India” which is being promoted by the Government of India.


CCEA approves strengthening and widening of three sections connecting Varanasi and Madurai

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, today approved the four laning of the Sultanpur-Varanasi section of National Highway – 56 in Uttar Pradesh. This will substantially upgrade Varanasi’s connectivity to Lucknow and other parts of Central Uttar Pradesh. The total capital cost will be around around Rs.3,800 crore on this 138 km long stretch.

The CCEA also approved the four laning of the Varanasi to Ghazipur, Gorakhpur and further to Nepal section of National Highway – 29 in Uttar Pradesh. This is likely to improve regional connectivity and facilitate improved movement of people and goods in the region and across the border. The four laning of this 200 kms will have a total capital cost of approximately Rs.4,400 crore. Varanasi is one of the oldest cities having great cultural, historical and religious eminence. It has tremendous tourism potential and it attracts tourists from all over the world.

In an another decision, the CCEA also approved the four laning / two laning with paved shoulders of the Madurai-Ramanathapuram section of National Highway – 49 in Tamil Nadu. This work will be under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase-III for a total length of 115 kms with a total capital cost of about Rs. 1,400 crore. The project is likely to be completed in two and half years from the date of award. The improvement of this stretch of National Highways 49 is a long pending demand of the people of Tamil Nadu, since it connects the important business centre of Madurai to the southern most tip of the country.

These decisions will bridge the infrastructure deficit in the country in an equitable manner. These pro-active steps will also strengthen the national highways network across the country, especially in regions where there has been a chronic shortfall. In this context, despite market related constraints, a total length of 8000 kms of National Highways were awarded during the financial year 2014-15. Since Highways act as a force multiplier to economic growth, these decisions are expected to spur economic activities across the nation.

In total, therefore, the CCEA today approved the strengthening and widening of 455 kms. of National Highways with a total capital cost of about Rs 9500 crore. The expenditure to be incurred on these projects is to be borne by the Government of India.


Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy,
Department of Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh asks the youth to take the legacy of Dr Homi Bhabha forward

The Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh has said that India has a large population of young persons who should take inspiration from the centres of excellence, like BARC and take the legacy of great scientists like, Dr. Homi Bhabha, forward.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of his visit to BARC, in Mumbai today, the Minister said that, India commands a high place in the world scientific arena, especially in the areas of Atomic Energy and Space Technology.

Talking about MARS mission, he said, the success in the very first attempt of this mission, was the most striking example of India’s capability and of the Make in India Campaign. The Minister also said despite constraints the way our scientists have toiled in the last 50 years to take the research in Atomic Energy forward is very commendable. He also said we have been in the fore front of showing the world the peaceful use of Atomic Energy. He also said the fast breeder reactor research was moving satisfactorily, especially as we are developing this technology indigenously.

Talking about the Jaitapur project, he said the project was progressing satisfactorily and discussions were being held with the villagers and though issues of safety, land and logistics have cropped up, these are teething problems and they will be overcome. He said there is a need for a public awareness campaign to educate villagers to show them that there are no adverse effects of such plants. The Minister also said that there is a need for public awareness and a need to have conducted tours for youngserts and civil society representatives to centres like BARC.


Radha Mohan Singh says Central Government is Considering to increase the Norms of National Disaster Response Fund, asks States to Utilise State Disaster Response Fund

Union Agriculture Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that Central Government is considering to increase the norms of National Disaster Response Fund. He urged the State Governments to utilise the amount in the State Disaster Response Fund with reference to compensation in the context of unseasonal rains. He also mentioned that State Governments have been authorised to notify disaster in local context and expenditure for relief can be met from State Disaster Response Fund within the limit of 10 percent of the fund available under the State Disaster Response Fund. He urged State Governments for memorandum on the area affected by the unseasonal rain as soon as possible so that a proper assessesment may be done by the Central Government.

Shri Singh said that with the concerted efforts of Central Government, despite the rain deficit of 12% in monsoon last year, there has been only a decrease of minimal 2% in the sowing area and there has been very insignificant decrease in the overall production.

Shri Singh emphasised that understanding the intiatives of Central Government like the Soil Health Management System, Soil testing laboratories, ‘Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana’, Unified National Agriculture Market and ‘Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana’ is important to improve the agriculture productivity. He said that organic farming has an important role in agriculture Production. He mentioned that an allocation of Rs 300 cr has been made for the current year to promote organic farming. 50 or more farmers can form a group and their 50 acre land will be considered for organic farming and will have provision for Rs 20,000 per acre for a period of a three years. This includes proper care from production level to final marketing of the crops. He said that promoting Horticulture development is important with development of fisheries and dairy sector.

He mentioned about planning at district level for implementation of ‘Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana’. He emphasised that proper marketing facilities for the agricultural crops is important. He mentioned about eMarketing with new Software to connect markets.

Various aspects related to Kharif crops like pulses, Maize, Rice were discussed during the presentation in the Conference. Integrated crop management, seeds, fertilisers, nutrient management, balanced use of fertilisers, Soil nutrient analysis, use of bio-fertilisers, coordination with various departments of Ministry of Agriculture were discussed in the conference “National Conference on Agriculture for Kharif Campaign 2015” organised in National Agriculture Science Centre, Pusa, New Delhi today.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Agriculture, Shri Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundaria said that increasing production is important along with decreasing the cost of production. He emphasised that Soil Health Card will help to understand the details related to soil nutrient and how to improve the productivity. Soil and Water are resources which needs to be optimally utilised for the betterment of the production of vegetable crops. He urged the participants of the programme to share knowledge during the conference to understand innovative ways to improve productivity. He said that the Expert knowledge from the participants will help understand how to utilise soil and water, considering the soil nutrients.

Union Agriculture Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh urged the State Governments to extend their fullest cooperation in meeting the challenges of Agriculture Sector and work in synergy to make the initiatives of Central Government a huge success.

Present on the occasion were Minister of State for Agriculture, Shri Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundaria, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandary, Dairy and Fisheries and Secretary, Department of Agriculture Research and Education and senior officials of Ministry of Agriculture along with officials from State Government Agriculture Officials.


Internal and External Security Angles have to be Addressed, says Civil Aviation Minister

Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju has said that internal and external security angles have to be addressed to achieve a foolproof safety for fliers and aircrafts. He was speaking at the 28th anniversary function of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) here today. Lauding the role of the Bureau in strengthening the impression that Indian sky is a relatively safe space, the Minister stressed that security measures should be meaningful without obstructing economic activities as growth in civil aviation sector has a direct impact on the economic growth of the country. The vision of security should be based on thinking one step ahead of the criminal mind, he added. He also underlined the connectivity among unconnected areas of the country as the immediate need of the hour.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Dr. Mahesh Sharma said that BCAS should focus on upgradation of security measures in compliance with international standards while strengthening preparedness for any eventuality at airports. Presence of mind and competence to take on- the- spot decisions should be the essential component of any security measures, he added. He further said that the lessons derived from accidents and experiences make it necessary for a formation like BCAS to have an integral R&D wing.

Mentioning the constraints of the BCAS, Secretary Civil Aviation, Shri V. Somasundaran informed that the Ministry is in the process of moving a proposal to increase the manpower of the organization as the demands created by increase in the number of airports and growth in air traffic get higher and higher.

In the year 2014, BCAS carried out 166 audits and inspections, 75anti hijack mock exercises and 333 surprise checks. It also arranged for Aviation Security (AVSEC) training of 24,803 persons. Its training centre has won ICAO accreditation making it the AVSEC training hub for South Asia. Recently, all national documents have been revised and brought in line with the latest regulations of International Civil Aviation Organization( ICAO).


Constitution of an Expert Committee to Examine the Possibility of Replacing Multiple Prior Permissions with Pre-Existing Regulatory Mechanism and to Prepare a Draft Legislation

In furtherance of  Finance Minister’s Budget speech, an Expert Committee has been constituted to suggest simplified compliance.  The Expert Committee has been constituted with the following composition and terms of reference for examining the possibility of replacing multiple prior permissions with pre-existing regulatory mechanism and preparing a draft legislation for this purpose:

A.     Composition

B.     Terms of Reference:

i)   Study the requirement of various prior permissions with an exhaustive inventory of such permissions;
ii) Examine the possibility of replacing these prior permissions with a pre-existing (proposed) regulatory mechanism;
iii)    Identify safeguards to be put in place while replacing the system of prior permission and integrating these safeguards in the proposed regulatory mechanism;
iv)    Recommend a framework of the proposed regulatory mechanism; and
v)  Draft the proposed legislation.

2.         The Expert Committee shall submit its report within 30 days


Centre to relax quality norms for procurement of wheat

The Centre has asked Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh Governments to test samples of wheat jointly with FCI immediately on its arrival so that appropriate relaxation in quality norms can be considered for the procurement.

During current Rabi season, quality norms for the procurement of wheat, which has lost its shine, have already been relaxed in Madya Pradesh and Gujrat. After testing the samples in Madya Pradesh, shrinked and broken grains have been allowed upto 10 percent.

In view of interests of farmers, the Government relaxes the norms for foodgrains procurement time to time. Norms were relaxed for procurement of Rice in Faylene and Hud Hud affected area also.

Procurement quality norms are decided every year on the recommendations of a committee of experts which include Food Secretaries of States. If quality of wheat is affected due to unseasonal rains or any other reason, relaxation in the norms is considered on the recommendations of states after testing samples of wheat on its arrival.

As per Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 relaxation in norms is allowed in the case of broken and shrinked grains and if grains have lost shine. According to the Act grains having more than 14 percent moisture cannot stored and procured.


Dr Mahesh Sharma and his Highness the Aga Khan Lay Foundation Stone of the Site Museum at Humayun’s Tomb

Site Museum will Promote Great Indian History and help Promote Tourism: Tourism & Culture Minister

The Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in the presence of Chairman, Aga Khan Development Network, His Highness the Aga Khan laid the foundation stone of a Site Museum at the Humayun’s Tomb Complex in New Delhi today. Humayun’s Tomb is one of the 25 Adarsh or “model” monuments recently designated by the Union Ministry of Culture. Construction of the Site Museum is expected to take 30 months.

Appreciating the efforts of Aga Khan Development Network(AKDN) in around the Humayun Tomb complex, Dr Mahesh Sharma said that it is a classical example of synergy between the government and a non-profit organisation in preserving the heritage of the country and taking it to the world. The Minister said that the Site Museum will be a recognition of cultural heritage of the country and help promote tourism. India has a rich cultural heritage but we have not been able to bring it fully before the world, Dr Sharma added. The Site Museum will be one such effort to portray the great Indian history, the Minister elaborated.

His Highness the Aga Khan appreciated the government support to the path-breaking initiative of AKDN , the Urban Renewal Initiative, in revitalizing and unifying the three historical sites of Humayun’s Tomb, Nizamuddin Basti and Sunder Nursery into one unique heritage precinct. The Site Museum will provide a gateway to all the three and will give an insight into history of the Mughal empire, His Highness the Aga Khan explained.

The Archaeological Survey of India called for the creation of a Site Museum In response to the dramatic increase in visitors to the Humayun’s Tomb complex. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) – which has undertaken conservation works on over 50 monuments in Delhi, including the restoration of Humayun’s Tomb – proposed the construction of a state-of-the-art site museum to be built at the entrance to the World Heritage Site. The Ministry of Tourism has pledged Rs 49 Crores (US$ 8.0 million) towards the construction cost of the Site Museum.

The purpose of the Museum is to provide a better understanding of Mughal architecture and building craft traditions and it will also shed light on the development of the Nizamuddin area over the last millennium. Perhaps most significantly, it will highlight the area’s pluralist cultural traditions.

The Site Museum will include a permanent exhibit, galleries for temporary exhibits, an auditorium for film screenings, a souvenirs shop and a café. Live demonstrations of building crafts such as stonework and plaster work, as well as other prominent Mughal crafts, will be a permanent activity.

The sunken, low-profile design, which was inspired by the traditional baolis of northern India, ensures that the visual aesthetics of adjacent 16th century monuments, such as the Sabz Burj, Isa Khan’s Tomb and Sundarwala Burj, will not be disturbed.

Two million people visit the Humayan’s Tomb complex annually, including over 500,000 children. An even larger number of pilgrims – from across the world and of many faiths – visit the adjoining Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, the 14th century Sufi saint.

Secretary Culture Mr Ravindra Singh, Secretary Tourism Dr Lalit Panwar and senior officials of Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Tourism and AKDN were present on the occasion.
Boost to foreign investment in Pharma sector as FIIs investments Boost to foreign investment in Pharma sector as FIIs investments Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 4:58 PM Rating: 5

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