Azad invites NRI investment in pharmaceuticals, medical education


New Delhi: Indians living aboard should invest in the fast growing pharmaceutical market in the country and in setting up medical colleges, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said Saturday, forecasting that India would become the future pharma hub of the world.

Support TwoCircles

“I take this opportunity to invite the NRI entrepreneurs to come forward and invest in the drug manufacturing sector which has bright prospects,” Azad said at the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas here.

He said that there was every possibility of India becoming the global pharmacy hub. He noted that drugs worth US$ 80 billion were on the verge of going off-patent. With India’s capacity to manufacture drugs at competitive prices, there was a big opportunity for investment in the drug manufacturing sector.

The government has cleared the desk by streamlining and strengthening of the regulatory framework with international credence, he said.

The minister also said that besides recognition of foreign degrees, many changes have been effected to facilitate opening of new medical colleges and increase in the capacity of existing colleges.

He said the land requirement for setting up a medical college had been cut from 25 acres to 20 acres, while in north-eastern states, this land can be in 2 parcels of 10 acres each.

In cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore and Kanpur, medical colleges can be located in multi-storied buildings in an area of just 10 acres.

Azad said apart from the religious and charitable trusts, now companies registered under the Companies Act have been made eligible to open medical colleges. With these changed regulations, the feasibility of opening of a new medical colleges has increased to a great extent and there is need to open new institutions, particularly in under-served states.

“With these amended provisions, I appeal to the NRIs to come forward and invest in setting up the medical colleges or take up teaching or practice or contribute in any other way you wish towards furthering the cause of the nation,” the minister added.