New biotechnology policy declared

Gandhinagar: Ahead of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit scheduled in a fortnight, the Gujarat government has declared a new State Biotechnology Policy (2016-2021). The government aims to create 1 lakh jobs and effect a threefold increase in industry turnover, from the current Rs 4,500 crore to Rs 15,000 crore during the policy period.
Deputy chief minister Nitin Patel announced the new policy on Monday. “Under CM Vijay Rupani, the state is progressing in multiple directions,” he said. “Earlier, we had announced the aerospace and defence policy.” He said under the new policy, vertical and horizontal biotechnology (BT) parks would be given various financial incentives. “The parks will be given up to Rs 25 crore in financial assistance,” he said. “Capital assistance up to Rs 50 crore will be given to biotechnology companies.”

Patel said Rs 1 crore would be given for new BT finishing schools. “For collaborative research and innovation, an additional Rs 25 lakh assistance will be given,” he said. “Biotech startups will be given an interest subsidy of up to 9%. For new biotech incubators, Rs 1 crore provision has been made.” He said new biotech units will be given stamp-duty and registration fee waiver, non-agriculture conversion fee waiver, Rs 1 per unit power tariff subsidy, and electricity duty exemption for five years.
The Gujarat government’s last biotechnology policy (2007-2012) had lapsed and little progress has been made in the sector so far. When asked about the vacuum, J N Singh, the Gujarat chief secretary, said: “The old policy was in continuation. We felt that the earlier policy was conservative and did not generate expected returns. So we addressed all such issues in this new policy.”

-Published in The Times of India.  See article link here.

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