State urged to draft biotech policy

For some planners in Gujarat, biotechnology (BT) wave is raging across Gujarat. But for a majority, it is neither seen nor felt.

After a highly rated IT policy, which could not be implemented even after a decade of its drafting, the government is all set to draft a BT policy in the state.

Giving impetus to the government to draft one is Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) which has urged the state to urgently draft a comprehensive BT policy on the lines of Karnataka’s Millennium Biotech Policy. This, CII points out, would help ride the BT wave and leverage the knowledge economy of the state.

CII envisages that the BT wave would take the state closer to achieving 12 –15 percent growth in the next ten years. Textile and Chemicals are the two other major industries in Gujarat. The state government has already announced setting up of separate venture capital fund for BT and also tax exemptions as a booster to encourage BT.

But CII is of the opinion that this would not help unless the BT policy is finalized. “We urge the state to give top priority to policy formulation without which international players would not be interested in investing in the field,” the statement added.

CII pointed out those already existing high potential pharmaceutical industries, dairy majors and substantial agriculture in central and southern parts of Gujarat, not affected by drought like in north Gujarat, would provide a fertile breeding ground for commercial BT in the state.

Gujarat is already growing hybrid cotton and tobacco production. It also records the highest production in castor seeds and mustards and this growth is said to be achieved with the help of BT. But sources within government feel that policies would not help unless there is a will to implement and follow up.

“Otherwise, it will also go in drain. The IT policy is the best example how the government has not shown enough interest and now they are waging a war to woo IT investors,” one of the members of the implementation committee on IT said.

Cyber News Service

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