Piramal Lifesciences to invest Rs200 crore in drug researh

Piramal Lifesciences, the drug research company of the Piramal Group will invest Rs200 crore over the next two years for developing new medicines, according to a top group executive.

Addressing her first press conference in New Delhi after taking over as Assocham president, Swati Piramal, director, Piramal

Lifesciences said that quick disinvestment of profit-making public sector units was necessary to help soften interest rates and assist fiscal management. She added that the government can raise up Rs30,000 crore through public sector disinvestment.

Piramal also demanded a new financial policy aimed at attracting household and corporate savings into investment with a target of raising gross domestic capital formation to 40 per cent of GDP in three years from 35.9 per cent in 2006-07.

She emphasised the need for an equitable, effective and efficient tax code implemented in a simplified manner, to prevent an asset-based taxation approach that will hurt India's fiscal growth, especially for capital intensive and infrastructure industry with long gestation period.
She called for the stabilisation of interest rates between 4 and 6 per cent.

with user end interest rate on agriculture and allied investments at 4 per cent. Housing loans should not be disbursed at more than 6 per cent interest for all houses costing below Rs30 lakh she suggested.

Regarding financial sector reforms Ms Piramal said these should include setting up of an independent banking regulator. She also called for stronger monitoring of credit by RBI with enhanced powers, curbs on indiscriminate credit and promotion of mobile banking in remote areas.

On Monday, public-listed Piramal Lifesciences posted a net loss of Rs31 crore for the quarter ended 30 September. The company achieved net sales of Rs2.5 crore for the first quarter. The Mumbai-based company formed in 2008 is expected to launch its first drug by 2011-12.