Policies cannot be revisited every three months: official

The Cabinet on Thursday unanimously rejected a proposal from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to ban complete takeovers by foreign companies of critical lifesaving drugs production facilities.

The DIPP proposed to lower the cap for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from 100 per cent to 49 per cent, subject to approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), as it feels an alarming number of foreign acquirers of cancer oncology injectables and APIs manufacturing facilities have, over the last two years, post-takeover, shut down the manufacturing units and R&D centres of the acquired companies. This, the DIPP feels, can render the country vulnerable in the critical area.

On the Bali package for the upcoming World Trade Organisation (WTO) conference, the Cabinet decided that India cannot agree to the temporary safeguard proposed by its Director-General Roberto Azevedo for India’s Minimum Support Prices (MSPs). India’s MSPs for farmers are currently in danger of breaching the WTO caps for permissible agricultural production subsidies. Highly-placed government sources told The Hindu, “The Cabinet decided that government policies cannot be revisited every three months and so the DIPP’s proposal on changing the policy on FDI in pharma be rejected.” “Also, India will never agree to temporary safeguards for our MSPs from the WTO rules; we will only agree to a permanent solution.”