Implementation of the country’s first active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) industrial park project is going to be lingered and costlier further, as the government has moved to once again revise the scheme.
The government is likely to give nod to a third revision proposal for the ongoing ‘API industrial park’ project, hiking its cost by Tk 80 crore and completion deadline by another three years, Planning Commission sources said.
Once the third revision proposal is approved, the project cost will rise to Tk 381 crore and implementation timeline will be extended up to June 2020.
The three-year scheme was supposed to be completed by December 2010 at a cost of Tk 213 crore when it saw first approval from Ecnec on May 22, 2008.
The important project has already seen a total of 6.5-year time extension and Tk 118 crore cost increase after two revisions in 2009 and 2014, official sources informed.
Local pharmaceutical industry, one of the country’s fastest growing sectors, now meets 98 percent of domestic drug demand mostly with imported API.
Bangladeshi pharmaceutical products are also being exported to some 145 countries, including the USA, UK and other European nations, according to drug administration.
Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) has undertaken the project to set up an API park with environment-friendly infrastructure facility on the outskirts of Dhaka in Gozaria upazila of Munshiganj to help local production of pharmaceutical raw materials and save forex.
The industries ministry has argued for the fresh project revision that it is necessary to finish central effluent treatment plant (CETP) and 2,500 square metre incomplete layout construction, formulate a plot demarcation plan, design public works, construct other buildings and install utility services according to requirement of departments concerned,’’ the Planning Commission source said.
“An environment-friendly industrial park will be set up for producing raw materials for the local pharmaceutical industry, once the project is implemented,” said a planning commission high official.
“The scheme is also very important for the industry’s self-sufficiency, creating a drug-import substitute and the country’s overall progress. The core objective of the project will be hampered, if the unfinished jobs are not done,” the official added.
The project activities include acquisition and development of 200.16 acres of land, developing 42 industrial plots, constructing a power sub-station and 33kv transmission line, a fire extinguishing system and an administrative building apart from constructing drainage system, sluice gate, water and gas supply line and installation of street lamps.
While inaugurating Dhaka International Trade Fair on January 1, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced pharmaceutical products and their raw materials ‘product of the year of 2018’ with a hope to develop the sector like RMG industry.
The industry insiders expect to earn Tk 15,000 crore from pharmaceuticals exports by 2021.The industry now provides second highest revenues to the state coffer.