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      Centre lists R&D Promotional Schemes for Pharma Sector

      Posted AtPharmaBiz

      Even as the domestic drug industry complains about the lack of adequate R&D support from the Central Government, the ministry of chemicals and fertilizers has come out with a comprehensive list of fiscal incentives and other support measures that can be utilized by the research based pharmaceutical industry of the country.

      According to the list there are about 20 various schemes being operated by various ministries that can promote R&D in drugs sector. These measures include the provision to write off of revenue expenditure on R&D (vide Section 35 (1) (i) of Income-tax Act) and capital expenditure on R&D in the year the expenditure is incurred (vide Sec.35 (1) (iv) of Income Tax Act). The ministry has also highlighted the provision for weighted tax deduction of 125% for sponsored research programmes in approved national laboratories, Universities functioning under the aegis of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Defence Research & Development organization (DRDO), Department of Electronics, Department of Biotechnology, Department of Atomic Energy, Universities and IITs as an excellent opportunity.

      (Section 35 (2AA) of the I.T. Act) Weighted tax deduction @ 150% on R&D expenditure (excluding expenditure incurred on land and building) incurred in the DSIR approved In-house R&D centers of companies engaged in the business of bio-technology or in the business of manufacture or production of drugs, pharmaceuticals, among others is another facility. Expenditure on scientific research in relation to drugs and pharmaceuticals, shall include expenditure incurred on clinical drug trials, obtaining approvals from any regulatory authority under any Central, State or Provincial Act and filing an application for a patent under the Patents Act, 1970 (39 of 1970). (Section 35 (2AB) of the Income Tax Act).

      There is also a tax holiday for 10 consecutive assessment years beginning from the initial assessment year to companies, whose sole object is "The Scientific and Industrial Research and Development" approved after the 31st day of March 2000 but before 1st April 2007 (Section 80-IB (8 A) of Income Tax Act).

      Income-tax exemption at 125% to donations made to approved Scientific and Industrial Research Organisations (Section 35 (1)(ii) and 35(1)(iii) of the Income Tax Act), accelerated depreciation allowance for investment on plant and machinery made on the basis of indigenous technology (Rule 5(2) of I.T. Rules), customs duty exemption to public funded R&D institutions and privately funded scientific and industrial research organisations, both for capital equipment and consumables needed for R&D. (Notification No.51/96-Customs, dated 23rd July 1996), excise duty exemption to public funded R&D institutions and privately funded scientific and industrial research organisations, both for capital equipment and consumables needed for R&D. (Notification No.10/97-Central Excise, dated 1st March 1997), excise duty exemption for 3 years on goods designed and developed by a wholly owned Indian company and patented in any two countries out of India, USA, Japan and any one country of European Union (Notification No.15/96-CE dated July 23, 1996, amended vide Notification No.13/99-CE dated February 28, 1999), exemption from customs duty on imports made by industry for R&D projects supported by the Government of India.

      (Notification No.50/96-Customs dated 23 July 1996), exemption from Price Control of Drugs (Prices Control) Order for drugs, which have been developed indigenously or produced through a process, developed through indigenous R&D are some of the other pharma specific schemes. The government has also allowed duty free import of pharmaceutical reference standards as per notification No. 26/2003 – Customs dated 1st March 2003 (entry substituted at S.No 138 of the table in the said notification). Similarly, goods specified in list 28 (comprising of analytical and specialty equipment) for use in pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector are allowed to be imported duty free {as per notification No. 26/2003 – Customs dated 1st March 2003 (entry substituted at S.No 248 of the table in the said notification)} by importers registered with DSIR provided.

      Support in the form of Grants for Industrial R&D projects through Technology Development and Demonstration Programme (TDDP) under Technology Promotion Demonstration and Utilization programme (TPDU) Scheme of DSIR, support in the form of loans/grants for industrial R&D through Home Grown Technology Schemes of Technology Information and Assessment Council (TIFAC) of DST, support to industry for R&D through sector specific programmes of scientific and economic ministries / departments, such as, DST, DBT, DOD, Department of Electronics, MNES and Ministry of Agro and Food Processing, association of industry with the national R&D programmes in area of atomic energy, space and Defence research and promotion of technology transfer from national laboratories and nationally funded R&D programmes to industry through public sector organisations likes NRDC and Antrix have also been highlighted.

      The New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiatives (NMITLI) of CSIR and similar R&D projects for technology development by ministries like Ministry of Information Technology, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Bio-technology, Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Environment & Forest and Department of Space have also been projected as promotional programmes that cane be availed by pharmaceutical industry.

      August 24, 2005


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