The agricultural and processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) of Ministry of Commerce and Industry has conducted study on medicinal and aromatic plants. The objective of the study was to identify, market opportunities for India in the medicinal and aromatic plants domain and to coin strategies to promote exports. India is the second largest exporter of medicinal plants. The Government has taken following steps to promote Indian herbal medicines in the global market:
I. Testing for heavy metals in all purely herbal Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medicines to be exported has been introduced with effect from 01.01.06 onwards. This has been done to meet the regulatory requirements of importing countries.
II. Under Centrally Sponsored Scheme, 29 State Drug Testing Laboratories have been strengthened and 26 Pvt. Drug Testing Laboratories and other NABL accredited laboratories have been approved for testing of ASU drugs in the country.
III. A research project has been sanctioned to various laboratories of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) under the Golden Triangle Partnership Project to study the physiochemical characteristics of 8 most widely used Bhasmas and to carry out their toxicity studies and scientifically validate the drugs.
IV. Good Manufacturing Practices have been made mandatory for all Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani drug-manufacturing units in the country to improve the standards of the drugs for promotion of exports.
V. A Special Scheme ‘AYUSH Industrial Clusters’ has been introduced in 11th Plan to provide common testing facilities for industries to improve quality of drugs and promotion of exports.
VI. Assistance is provided to industries to participate in International Trade Fairs for promotion of AYUSH drugs.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Smt. Panabaka Lakshmi in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.