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Himachal Pradesh set to be the next drug manufacturing hub of India

Himachal Pradesh set to be the next drug manufacturing hub of India

For the last part of the year, we have been fighting an indomitable enemy in the form of the deadly Coronavirus causing bacteria Covid 19. Since its inception from a food market in Wuhan, China, the virus has spread to all parts of the world engulfing the entirety of Europe, the United States of America, the prime countries in South America like Brazil and Mexico, and large parts of the Indian subcontinent.

With India slowly becoming one of the hotspots for the virus, the lack of medical exposure and infrastructure that has been prevalent in the country since time immemorial despite constant efforts to improve has been blatantly exposed. Incessant lockdowns to curb the outgoing tendency of people, a practice that might spread the virus even more through physical contact has impacted the economy with all business activities coming to a complete standstill. India is reeling under the intense pressure of Fiscal Deficit and looks set to post another negative quarter of growth.

In times of such distress and chaos, the Himachal Pradesh Government has come up with a noble solution to make India self-reliant in the production and manufacturing of important pharmaceutical drugs. The government of Himachal Pradesh has invited pharma industry stakeholders to sign a MoU to line up their bulk drug manufacturing units within the proposed bulk drug park in UNA, to offer them the first-mover advantage. It has allotted 1400 acres of land in the bulk drug manufacturing park in Una to the Central Government and has invited major pharmaceutical companies to set up their manufacturing units there. The decision has been initiated by the portfolio and cabinet position holders of the Himachal Pradesh Government and has been further ratified and subjected to a proposal by the Central wing of the country.

Himachal Pradesh offers many advantages in this regard with the availability of sufficient water resources being the prime among them. Due to the presence of adequate hydroelectric power stations and dams in the state of Himachal, rainwater can be tapped and utilized efficiently. This can then be converted into electrical potential energy and be used for many other purposes. Moreover, Himachal also ranks higher in the index among the places in India that are most suitable for setting up new businesses.

The climatic feasibility of Himachal offers a balanced weather condition, a criterion that is extremely crucial for the growth and prosperity of a particular industry. The biggest advantage that is expected to draw the highest number of investors towards this venture or initiative is the low power consumption and utility system prevalent in Himachal Pradesh.

In comparison to the other states, the power consumption charges that are levied or imposed in accordance with 1 unit of electricity consumption is much lower. The park will have access of GIS-enabled which will provide easy access and information about plot availability to investors. Moreover, the state has transparency and accessibility in the system. It is further studying success stories of single window clearance systems from states like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and more others.

Thus, this is a critical factor as electricity would be the primary component in running the large-scale machinery and equipment in the factory which will be further used to produce and manufacture the pharmaceutical drugs in large quantities. More importantly, the quantum of skilled labour available in Himachal Pradesh is also high with people eager to attain gainful employment. 

However, one factor that might tilt the scale in the favour of the pharma companies not inclined to set up industries in Himachal is the absence of proper land routes and transportation facilities in the region. With snow-capped peaks and hilly terrain, the roads in Himachal are still not suitable enough for regular travel. Nevertheless, the state has made significant progress in road connectivity in the last few decades. Himachal at present has the highest road density among all the hill states of India. Although Himachal also has three airports and two narrow gauge rail tracks, roads remain the main mode of transport in Himachal.

Moreover, there is a lack of electrification in the remotest parts of the state, a factor which is instrumental if the pharma companies want to make their produced bulk drugs accessible to the nook and corner of the states so that the people sustaining in the most basic facilities can get access to pharmaceutical Drugs.

Conclusion

Thus, it is imperative that in times of such distress and immense economic and health-related chaos, this decision by the Himachal Pradesh State Government is adequately implemented. The drug manufacturing machinery in India would receive a major boost once the industries are set up in the designated places.

We as a nation would then not have to depend on China, which currently is the largest exporter of medicinal drugs in the world, for the procurement of pharmaceutical drugs and equipment. If we are to avert this situation and progress, the only solution left for us is to become self-reliant. Only then can we truly overcome this challenge and emerge triumphant with a cautious outlook towards the future.

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