China accounts for 66% of India's total bulk drug imports at Rs 12,254 crore in FY 2016-17
China accounted for 66 percent of India's total bulk drug imports in 2016-17 at Rs 12,254.97 crore, Parliament was informed on Monday
New Delhi: China accounted for 66 percent of India's total bulk drug imports in 2016-17 at Rs 12,254.97 crore, Parliament was informed on Monday.
Bulk drug import from the neighbouring nation stood at Rs 13,853 crore in 2015-16, accounting for 65.2 percent of the total import, Union minister Mansukh L Mandaviya said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.
Citing data from DGCIS Kolkata, he said total bulk drug imports in 2016-17 stood at Rs 18,372.54 crore.
"The imports are mainly done for economic consideration and there are various manufacturers who could substitute in case of interrupted supply from China," the minister said when asked if interrupted supply from the country could lead to drug shortage in India.
Stating that various measures have been taken to reduce imports, Mandaviya said the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) on 7 February, 2018 approved a scheme for development of pharmaceutical industry under which one of the components is financing common facilities in bulk drug parks.
"This would help in reducing cost of production and result in better availability of cheaper medicines for patients," he added.
Moreover, in January 2016, the government had withdrawn exemption in customs duties which were earlier given to certain categories of bulk drugs to help domestic manufacturers, the minister said.
"Further, the government has removed bottlenecks in environment clearance etc, which the manufacturers are facing, in order to boost domestic manufacturing of bulk drugs," Mandaviya, the minister of state for chemicals and fertilisers said.
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The move was a response to the Trump administration's order this week for Beijing to close its consulate in Houston after Washington accused Chinese agents of trying to steal medical and other research in Texas.
The tit-for-tat closings marked a significant escalation in the multiple disputes between the two countries over a range of issues, including trade, technology, security, and human rights.
After US orders China's Houston consulate closed, Beijing accuses law enforcement of 'improperly entering' premises
The Trump administration ordered the Houston consulate closed this week, saying Chinese agents tried to steal medical and other research in Texas