Maharashtra Biotechnology Policy
Maharashtra Advantage in Biotech: Bio-future
Bio-fuels will provide new sources of energy. Biopesticides will provide ecologically safe pest treatments. Bio-fertilizers will provide safer and ecologically friendly fertilizers. Bioremediation, rather than chemical treatment, can now convert hazardous wastes into useful products. Bioinformatics, with confluence of information technology and biotechnology, for the first time is opening up exciting new opportunities of unparalleled dimensions. Indeed, the future in the 21st century is 'bio-future' all the way, and Maharashtra wants to be a participant in building this 'bio-future'.
State derives its confidence that it will be a leader in Biotechnology based on its diverse strengths. These strengths include its superior
human resource, the excellence of its private and public institutions, the superb infrastructure, and a conducive business environment as well as the
inherent strength of its industry.
The Sahyadri range running along the entire western perimeter of the State is adorned with an extremely rich flora. There are many plants with medicinal properties and essential oils. Many are also of value to other industries like the detergent or tanning industries. Proper and comprehensive documentation of this bio-diversity would lead to its conservation and to adding value to it. This diverse and resplendent flora would prove to be a gold mine for the Biotechnology industry.
Maharashtra has the strength to make it the 'most preferred destination' for the pharmaceutical industry, and to attract and accelerate investment in Drugs and Pharmaceuticals. Maharashtra
already contributes about 40% of the total turn over. It has 4,100 registered pharmaceutical manufacturers out of the total of 20,053 in India.
Major Indian companies such as Wockhardt, CIPLA, LUPIN, Nicholas Piramal, etc. do not only have their presence in Maharashtra, but they are also marching forward in the most challenging and frontline areas of Biotechnology.
The State has an excellent intellectual infrastructure. Through nearly 1000 institutions, it produces around 163,000 trained technical personnel each year. The State has already set up specialised parks for different sections including IT.
To develop the Biotechnology industry in the State in order to:
• Provide to the farmers of the State better, high-yielding, drought and pest-resistant crops suited to
the agro-climatic conditions of the State;
• Help develop affordable and more cost-effective drugs and devices to counter diseases common
to India and to tropical and sub-tropical areas, and to reduce the disease burden;
• Develop cheaper and effective technologies to purify water sources and to deal with industrial
effluents and urban wastes, etc.;
• Improve the livestock in the State in order to increase the earning capacity in rural areas;
• Improve the marine stock to improve the productivity of the fishing industry;
Two apex institutions will be created. The first will be the Maharashtra Biotechnology Board, and the second will be the Maharashtra Biotechnology Commission. These will be backed up by a Biotechnology Development Fund with corpus of Rs. 50 Crores.
State as an Enabler and a Facilitator
a) Taluka-level seed farms, farms of the Agricultural Universities and lands in the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) areas will be made available to
Biotechnology units so that field trials and seed multiplication of approved varieties can be undertaken.
b) Biotechnology companies located in the State will be permitted to acquire and own agricultural lands in excess of the current ceiling limits provided they are being specifically utilized for experimentation and field trials, which are a logical part of the research and development chain.
a) Industrial power tariff applicable to all Biotechnology industries.
b) Biotechnology units will be exempted from paying electricity duty.
c) Captive power generation will be permitted to Biotechnology units throughout the State.
d) Biotechnology units throughout the State will be eligible for all the benefits available to industrial units
located in 'D' areas of the State under the New Package Scheme of Incentives, 2001, except in the D+ and 'No Industry District' areas,
where such units will be eligible for benefits in the D+ and 'No Industry District' areas. These include capital subsidy for small-scale Biotechnology units, and refund
of octroi and similar levies.
e) New Biotechnology units, and expansions of existing units, will be exempted from payment of Stamp Duty and Registration fees in C, D, D+ and
No Industry Zones in terms of Package Scheme of Incentives, 2001 of the State. In other areas, such exemption will be extended to units in
Biotechnology Parks promoted by public bodies. In private Parks, such Stamp Duty and Registration fees would be waived to the extent of 50%.
In addition, only 10% of the admissible Stamp Duty would be payable on property transactions resulting from amalgamation of Biotechnology companies.
f) Twice the admissible Floor Space Index would be admissible for Biotechnology units in Parks promoted by MIDC and other public bodies, and at other designated locations.
g) The Government will encourage setting up world class "Centres of Excellence", which will cover all aspects of cutting edge research and development in emerging areas of life sciences and technology.To facilitate this, the Government will offer land at concessional rates to Centres of Excellence in the area of Biotechnology. Specific norms will be laid down to define such Centres, and each prospective Centre will be subjected to scrutiny and approval on an individual basis.
Incentives for Promoting Biotechnology Parks:
a) State Government will promote setting up of Biotechnology Parks, Research and Development Centres and pilot plant facilities for undertaking
contract research by putting equity stakes in such projects.
b) Units engaged in agricultural Biotechnology ventures will be designated as agricultural industries with extension of all the incentives, exemptions and benefits accruing to that industry. Further, MIDC will allot land to such industrial units in areas under its jurisdiction at industrial rates.
a) The centres supplying such manpower at present will therefore have to be strengthened and diversified. Biotechnology Parks will be set up at Pune (pharma
Biotechnology), Shendre/Jalna and Akola (agricultural Biotechnology).
b)Routine facilities common to any Technology Park, these Parks will offer -
• GMP facilities in conformity with US FDA norms;
• Business Facilitation Centres (BFC), which will offer services to the clients of the Park, will comprise:
i. A cell for facilitating rapid regulatory and customs clearances and interface with Government
ii. Handholding services to entrepreneurs in getting power connection, telephone connection, etc.;
iii. Technology transfer and access services;
iv. Commercialization services;
v. Networking with research institutions;
vi. Mentoring and information and support on intellectual property protection, etc.
The BFC will also maintain databases on Biotechnology and also deal with quarantine issues.
Initially, it is planned to have experts in regulatory affairs, Biotechnology, and marketing. There
will be adequate supporting staff to assist these experts. Also, the BFC will be equipped with all
the necessary facilities to provide secretarial services, communication services, etc.
• Connectivity with academic and research institutions for providing the necessary human resource
Physical infrastructure such as quality power, telecommunication, connectivity, adequate
bandwidth, reliable water supply etc.
• Land for building residential complexes for scientists and Biotechnology professionals, complete
with schooling and recreational facilities.
Biotechnology Resource Centre, a reference centre for certification of products after testing them intensively, and an experimental animal facility that will meet all the
ethical, legal and safety standards. Land will be made available for these purposes. The State Government may undertake civil construction work for these facilities depending on contributions from the industry or from charitable institutions. The State will actively seek participation in the setting up and running of these special facilities from NRI and academic and other organizations overseas.
The Biotechnology Parks and the Resource Centre will evolve new patterns of collaboration between research scientists, industry personnel, extension workers,
farming community and the consumers forwider dissemination and better understanding of the costs and benefits of Biotechnology.
Intellectual Property Rights:
Launch programmes to create awareness about IPR among the users as well as society in general. In addition, a special course will
be introduced at the postgraduate level in the HRD programmes so as to cover various aspects of IPR.