• Oil-for-drugs: no clarity yet on barter with Venezuela

    Uncertainty continues on the much-awaited oil-for-drugs barter plan that India has proposed with Venezuela to repatriate millions of dollars owed to domestic pharmaceutical companies. This was disclosed by Anice Jospeh Chandra, Director of the Department of Commence, at a press conference on the sidelines of 12th annual meet of Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil) here on Thursday. Many drugmakers, including Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, have pending payments from cash-strapped Venezuela, which has been witnessing a series of currency devaluations in the recent past.

    “We had earlier prepared a draft proposal for the barter plan by roping in the RBI, banks and our drugmakers, and are working on it for several months. We are yet to hear from the government of Venezula on this,” said Chandra, adding that no timeframe can be given to resolve the issue. As of now, Venezuela, Nigeria and Angola have turned ‘problematic’ in repatriations for Indian pharma companies. As per industry estimates, over Rs. 20 billion in payments were due from Venezuela alone.

    Earlier, Pharmexcil Chairman and Aurobindo Pharma Director M Madan Mohan Reddy said there was huge potential to be harnessed in pharma exports. “Globally, the pharma business was valued at $1050 billion and India accounted for only 2.5-3 per cent of it,” he said. PV Appaji, Director-General, Pharmexcil, said pharma exports are growing at 10-12 per cent per annum and the council is looking to expand the reach of Indian drugs. Jason Chimera Womens Jersey

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