The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given green signal to import palladium and other precious metals on advance payment for use in production of pharmaceuticals following a representation from Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA) in this regard.
The association had made a representation on July 10, 2020 to Shaktikanta Das, governor of RBI urging him to allow import of palladium and other precious metals on advance payment. The industry body in its representation stated that drug companies have been regularly importing palladium metal from Japan on advance payment before the implementation of RBI notification which disallowed advance remittance for import of precious metal.
Drug makers are facing challenges in importing the precious metal since the circular came into force. Suppliers of palladium metal have refused to supply material without advance payment. They are also not willing to accept payment through a letter of credit issued by the bank as an alternative, it added.
Palladium metal is used as catalyst in manufacture of several life-saving drugs including pregabalin (neuropathic pain), aceclofenac (anti-inflammatory), alpha ethyl PAB (Alzheimer disease), trimetazidine (anti angina), dabigatran (heart stroke and systemic embolism), and lisinopril (anti- hypertensive).
Taking serious note of the representation of the IDMA, RBI on July 30, 2020 asked the industry to submit specific details of the cases that have been declined by the apex bank of India. IDMA immediately submitted the same.
On August 7, 2020 Jyoti Sayankrit, AGM Trade, Foreign Exchange Department, RBI had written to the industry body asking it to inform its members to approach the regional offices concerned of RBI through their respective AD banks with such requests.
Besides RBI, IDMA has also written to Prime Minister's Office (PMO), Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey, finance secretary, Dr Anup Wadhawan, commerce secretary and Dr P D Vaghela, secretary, department of pharmaceuticals in this regard.