Burgeoning imports of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients from China has become a concern, prompting the National Security Advisor to warn the government of over-dependence on the neighbouring country in the supply of essential drugs and APIs, Parliament was informed today.
India imported Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) worth Rs 13,853.20 crore from China in 2015-16, or 65.29 per cent of the total API imports of Rs 21,216.91 crore, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Mansukh L Mandaviya said in reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
The imports from China stood at Rs 12,757.96 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 12,061.53 crore in 2013-14, he added.
“The main reasons for imports are economic considerations,” Mandaviya said.
When asked if the National Security Advisor has warned the government of over-dependence on China for supply of essential drugs and APIs, the minister replied in the affirmative.
“The government policies are framed from time to time so that the country doesn’t depend on only one source for its requirements,” Mandaviya said.
To further encourage domestic production of bulk drugs, the government has on January 28, 2016 notified the withdrawal of exemption in customs duties which were earlier given to certain categories of drugs and bulk drugs, he added.
“This step of the government would help the country to reduce its dependence on China for imports of certain essential APIs,” Mandaviya said.