New Delhi: India’s import of raw materials to manufacture medicines during the last fiscal year stood at Rs 28,528.97 crore, of which 68 per cent (Rs 19,402.60 crore) came from China, the government Friday said.
Replying to a query in Lok Sabha, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya noted that most of the imports of the bulk drug/APIs being done in the country are because of economic considerations.
In 2019-20, the total raw materials imports stood at Rs 24,171.78 crore, of which Rs 16,443.10 crore worth of shipments came from China.
Mandaviya noted that the Department of Pharmaceuticals has launched three schemes, including production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes and Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks, for promoting domestic manufacturing of drugs including APIs by attracting large investments in the sector to ensure their sustainable domestic supply and thereby reduce India’s import dependence on other countries.
The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the world’s third largest by volume, providing 20-22 per cent of generic drugs globally and is one of the biggest supplier of low cost vaccines, the minister stated.
In 2020-21, imports of medicines worth Rs 49,436 crores against export of Rs 1,80,551 crore indicate the strong capacity of domestic manufacturing, Mandaviya noted.
As per the data available from port offices of CDSCO, the imports from China include antibiotics, vitamins, hormones, antiviral, anti-TB, anticonvulsant, analgesic, antipyretic, antidiabetic, cardiovascular etc, he stated.