USA—The U.S. industry has said that India should come out with a research and development (R&D) policy for its pharmaceutical sector.

The USA-India Chamber of Commerce has pressed the Indian government for an R&D policy that will help stabilize the global supply chain in terms of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API).

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is scheduled to table the Union Budget for the financial year 2023-24 before parliament on February 1.

It is time that the government of India comes out with a research and development policy for the pharmaceutical sector,” Karun Rishi, president of USA-India Chamber of Commerce (USAIC).

The USAIC, based in Boston, has been organizing the India-US healthcare summit for the past 16 years, which is attended by the who’s who of the pharma sector from both India and the United States.

In the BioPharma sector, the budget should aim to move up the value chain driven by research and development. Right policy push can provide India the fuel to become the R&D hub of the world,” Rishi said.

He asserted that the budget should incentivize R&D and manufacturing, particularly improving API (active pharmaceutical ingredients) manufacturing in India, for national security and supply chain stability.

India’s pharma industry is expected to grow to US$130 billion by the end of this decade, according to Sudarshan Jain, Secretary General, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA), a group of 24 leading pharma majors including Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Cipla, and Sun Pharma.

But to achieve this target, the Budget should promote R&D and innovation, Mr. Jain told news agency PTI.

The Budget should also simplify the goods and services tax (GST) and other regulations, besides outlining supportive policies, said Mr. Jain.

The pharma sector generates massive trade surplus with exports beating imports by a huge margin. Riding on the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ – the government’s thrust on self-reliance – and driving the ‘Make in India’ policy, India has gone a long way in becoming one of the major exporters of drugs.

Meanwhile, U.S. venture capital firms investing in India are expecting the Union Budget 2023 to support the growth and development of the startup ecosystem in the country, according to a top investor.

According to Arun Kumar, managing partner of Celesta Capital, the venture capitalists want to capitalize on Indian talent and invest in them.

The geopolitical scenario and the pandemic induced the need to diversify supply chain sources and present India with an opportunity to enhance its participation as a trusted node in global value chains, he said.

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