The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) on Monday cleared six proposals envisaging investments of Rs 855 crore in the pharmaceutical sector, including one by Fresenius Kabi.

The FIPB, chaired by Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram, approved the proposal of Singapore— based healthcare firm Fresenius Kabi to bring in FDI worth Rs 349 crore, sources said. The company proposes to acquire the public shareholding of its Indian subsidiary, Fresenius Kabi Oncology Ltd, through a voluntary delisting offer.

Also approved were proposals by Lotus Surgical Specialities to bring in foreign investment of Rs 150 crore, Calyx Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd (Rs 200 crore) and Singapore—based Smith & Nephew Pte Ltd (Rs 142 crore).

Other pharma proposals that were cleared were those of Andhra Pradesh—based Celon Laboratories Ltd (Rs 12.55 crore) and Hyderabad—based Globion India Pvt Ltd (Rs 1.17 crore).

Currently, India allows 100 per cent FDI in the pharma sector through the automatic route for new projects, while foreign investment in existing drug companies has to be approved by the FIPB.

The government is likely to soon revise the FDI policy with regard to existing pharma companies.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion had earlier raised concerns about the spate of acquisitions of domestic pharma firms by multinationals.

The FDI policy in the sector was discussed at the Prime Minister’s level in December. Accordingly, all foreign investments in existing domestic pharma firms were allowed only after FIPB clearance.

The FIPB today discussed 32 FDI proposals. The board cleared the Rs 2,058 crore Jet—Etihad deal with riders.

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