The Central government has raised the financial assistance from the existing 20% to 30% to the Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani drug manufacturing units for upgrading their infrastructure to meet GMP norms, during the 11th Five Year Plan period.

The revised scheme states – assistance to ASU&H drug manufacturing units, having an annual turnover of up to Rs 20 crore, for acquisition of prescribed essential quality control equipments for in-house quality control lab will be Rs 30 lakh or 30 % of the expenditure incurred. This will be extended based on a MoU between the manufacturing unit/State Drug Controller and Department of AYUSH with a condition that the quality control equipment purchased with government assistance would not be disposed of and that the government would have lien on such equipment in case of company going into liquidation.

The scheme aims at filling the critical gaps in the sector especially related to standardization and quality assurance infrastructure and capacity building through a cluster based approach. It would also encourage associative behaviour in the sector for sustainability of cluster development approach

Earlier, under the scheme in effect from the ninth Plan, one time grant equivalent to 20% investment made by the unit subject to maximum of Rs 5 lakh was provided. Now the assistance would be up to Rs 30 lakh or 30% of the cost, whichever is less, for upgradation of facilities under the WHO GMP standards, sources said, adding that representations have been received in the past from Ayush manufacturing associations and those representations have been kept in view in revision of the scheme.

The Centre has approved three Ayush clusters to develop common facilities for drug manufacturing, testing and standardization during the current Plan. Thrissur (Kerala), Nasik and Pune (Maharashtra) are the clusters identified. Grant will be given under the scheme by way of grant to the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), formed by group of entrepreneurs from Ayush sector. The assistance will be restricted to 60 % of the project cost subject to a maximum of Rs 10 crore. The remaining 40% will be raised by the SPV through equity, borrowings from banks/financial institutions and other sources, under this scheme.