ImageThe Department of Pharmaceuticals much-awaited project of setting up an SME Centre at NIPER, Mohali, to assist the small and medium pharma entrepreneurs will become a reality soon. Union minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Ramvilas Paswan will inaugurate the SME Centre on February 11.

The SME Centre is being set up to provide comprehensive information and assistance to the small and medium pharma entrepreneurs to set up their units and also to provide comprehensive education and training on setting of a GMP-compliant unit. The SME Centre will also give assistance to small and medium pharma entrepreneurs in preparing stability study, drug master files, solving issues related to formulations, manpower training and training on manufacturing. A GMP- compliant pilot sample formulation plant is also scheduled to be established at the SME Centre at an estimated cost of Rs 5 crore.

The SME centre will have dosage pilot plant, tablet section, capsule section, parenterals (dry powder, liquid and eye drops) unit, and sections from topical formulations and liquid orals. Thousands of SSI units will benefit from the SME centre as they can take use of the facilities of NIPER to improve their working and go for more innovations.

The SME centre will come in handy for the small and medium sector as the charges for the services will be much cheaper in the NIPER as the central government has asked the premier institute to extend concession in fees to the SME units for various services and facilities available with it. This has been a long-standing demand of the pharma associations representing the SSIs like SME Pharma Industries Confederation (SPIC).

Meanwhile, the high powered committee on setting up of the SME Centre, headed by Dr. S S Sivaram, director, NCL Pune, has mooted the idea of developing the SME centre as an Autonomous Business Centre (ABC) in five years.