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AP plans SEZ for pharma formulations

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Aurobindo, Hetero Drugs have agreed to acquire 240 acres in the SEZ

Hyderabad , Sept 18

In a bid to effectively address the issue of migration of State-based pharma units to Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Jammu & Kashmir due to heavy tax incentives, the Andhra Pradesh Government has decided to develop a special economic zone (SEZ) exclusively for pharma formulations.

According to the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Mr B.P. Acharya, the SEZ would come up on 300 acres and be a part of the Green Industrial Park proposed over 960 acres at Jedcherla, about 70 km from Hyderabad and about 40 km from the new International Air Port at Shamshabad.

Addressing a national seminar organised by the Bulk Drug Manufacturers Association (BDMA) on Monday, he said that the corporation has already acquired the land and that the conceptual master planning is currently under way.

"Aurobindo Pharma and Hetero Drugs have expressed their willingness to be the anchor clients in the proposed pharma formulations SEZ," Mr Acharya said.

Speaking to newspersons on the sidelines of the seminar, the BDMA President, Dr B. Parthasaradhi Reddy, who is also the Chairman and Managing Director of Hetero Drugs, said that Aurobindo Pharma and Hetero Drugs have agreed to acquire 240 acres in the SEZ to set up their formulation units and invest over Rs 200 crore.

Worried over 150 pharma companies in the State showing interest to set up units in Northern States, the AP Government had earlier urged the Centre either to discontinue the tax exemptions in the three Northern States or allow AP to set up similar zones with tax exemptions.

With no favourable response from the Centre on the issue so far, the AP Government has now decided to set up exclusive SEZs for pharma formulations, Dr Reddy said.

"Both Aurobindo Pharma and Hetero Drugs will enter into an agreement with the APIIC for setting up of formulation units in the proposed pharma SEZ shortly"

He added: "We expect the formalities pertaining to the SEZ to be completed within the next six months so as to enable us take up construction activity from early next fiscal."

Earlier, speaking at the seminar, the Chairman of the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee, Dr G. Thyagarajan, advised Indian pharma companies to ensure environment protection and avoid the threat of becoming the victim of non-tariff barriers in the global market.

Referring to the recently introduced New Environment Policy-2006, Dr Reddy urged the Government to address the industry's apprehensions that the issuance of environmental clearances would take more time in the new regime. "Such delays will definitely slow down the growth of the pharmaceutical industry."

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