Biotech set to reach $1 B target in 2005

By agencies   |   Thursday, 24 March 2005, 08:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE:IndiaÂ’s biotech industry is poised to achieve its target market size of $1 billion by 2005 and $5 billion by 2010, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said.

Sibal said that the Indian biotech sector has obtained a ''critical mass'' in manufacturing and research services and has slowly built a market for biotech products and services estimated at $700 million for the year 2003-2004.

It is growing and on its way to reach the target of $1 billion market size by 2005 and $5 billion by 2010.

Indian Biotechnology is now poised to leverage its scientific skills and technical experience to make a global impact on a strong innovation-led platform.

''New companies with cutting edge technology and 100 percent foreign direct investment are growing at a phenomenal rate. We are happy with the growth of the biotechnology sector, especially bio-pharma and bio-informatics,'' Sibal said, and added that health and agri-biotech were growing at a very fast rate with companies putting up resources in research and development of new drug molecules.

He said that the Center has taken many steps to provide encouragement to the biotech sector, including reduction in custom duty on specified machinery, 150 per cent weighted deduction on in-house R&D expenditure, equity support to small and medium enterprises through Small Industries Development Bank of India.

Under the Foreign Trade Policy 2004-2009, all benefits enjoyed by Export Oriented Units have been passed on to Biotech Parks in the country. Also, 100 per cent FDI has been permitted for BTPs through Automatic Route similar to Special Economic Zones units. BTP units are exempted form payment of Income Tax as per the provisions of Section 10 A and 10 B of the IT Act.

Apart from the Central government, many states have formulated their own specific biotech policies and established biotech parks to boost the sector. The Department of Biotechnology is contributing to their efforts by supporting creation of incubator/pilot level facilities in these parks, he added

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