THE UNION government has given its approval to set up six centres of research and excellence in pharmaceuticals and plastic sectors in Maharashtra, promising investments worth
Rs 1 lakh crore and employment to more than 2.5 lakh people.
The state government has also signed MoUs with the Centre to start 100 centres for generic medicines (Janaushadi), a flagship project aimed to provide cheaper medicines to the poor and underprivileged people.
The decisions were taken at a meeting of Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Ananth Kumar and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai on Monday. All the major proposals put forth by the state government were sanctioned, with Kumar promising the Centre’s investments within six months. The state will have to, however, make land available for the projects.
Nagpur, the chief minister’s hometown, will soon have a National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER). A Central team will visit Nagpur by the end of this month to complete the formalities and review the financial and logistical assistance required to take the project ahead.
Another big project approved for Nagpur is a medical devices park. It entails an investment of Rs 600 crore spread over 100 acres of land. The project aims to help bring down the cost of medical devices, which have been hitherto imported.
“The projects that have been approved will open up new avenues of research and excellence on one hand, and employment and investment avenues on the other. It’s a holistic development as we have projects spread across Vidarbha, Marathwada, North Maharashtra, Western Maharashtra and Konkan,” Fadnavis said after his meeting with Kumar.
Jalgaon (North Maharashtra) and Pune (Western Maharashtra) will get a Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (CEPET) each. The CEPET already existing in Aurangabad (Marathwada) will be expanded.
“These institutes have a status of Regional Engineering College. At present, 23 CEPETs generate 40,000 graduates in plastic engineering. We require 8.5 lakh engineers in this sector,” said Kumar.
The addition of two CEPETs will help take the total strength from current 40,000 students to 65,000 students.
A mega plastic park at Jalgaon with a Rs 1,000-crore investment promising employment to 1 lakh people, too, has got the nod. Aurangabad city, which is fast emerging as an industrial hub, will also house a new bulk drug park.
“Almost 60 per cent of the bulk drugs are imported from China. We want to encourage the domestic sector in the bulk drugs sector,” said Kumar.
As part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a model park for recycling of plastic waste will be constructed in Chandrapur district of Vidarbha. The CM said, “The park spread on 15 acres will bring
Rs 1,000-crore investment and up to 1 lakh jobs. The entire process is being designed by experts team at the Centre. It has a provision for providing sustained income and improving the lives of ragpickers who would help in waste segregation and the plastic waste would be processed at the park. The concept adopted is to create wealth from the waste.”
In Konkan, Fadnavis said, Rashtriya Chemical Fertilizer (RCF) would set up a plant at Thal in Raigad district.