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India To Announce National Biotechnology Policy

By Agence France-Presse India will roll out by early next year a national biotechnology policy to address regulatory and investment concerns and to spur growth of the nascent industry, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said Oct. 21. The policy could encourage manufacturers to make biotechnology equipment rather than depend on imports, and the government was planning more pacts with private entrepreneurs, he said. "Instead of forming a national fund for biotechnology development, it's better for the government to give technology free to entrepreneurs and take an equity stake in the company," Sibal told reporters. The Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises, based in Bangalore, India, says Indian biotechnology industry revenues should cross the $1 billion mark in the financial year ending March 31, 2005, after rising 39% in the previous 12 months. Reflecting strong demand for biotechnology services, the number of companies rose to 235 in the last fiscal year from 150 a year earlier, the organization said. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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