Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Budget 2024: Sitharaman announces launch of a new bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry scheme

It promotes green growth by providing alternatives such as biodegradable polymers, bio-plastics, bio-pharmaceuticals and bio-agri-inputs; industry experts happy with focus on sustainability

Naini Thaker
Published: Feb 1, 2024 02:38:52 PM IST
Updated: Feb 1, 2024 02:52:20 PM IST

Budget 2024: Sitharaman announces launch of a new bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry schemeThe scheme will also help in transforming today’s consumptive manufacturing paradigm to the one based on regenerative principles; Image: Shutterstock

During her Interim Budget 2024 speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke about promoting green growth, and launching “a new scheme of bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry”. She said: “This will provide environment friendly alternatives such as biodegradable polymers, bio-plastics, bio-pharmaceuticals and bio-agri-inputs.” The scheme will also help in transforming today’s consumptive manufacturing paradigm to the one based on regenerative principles.

This focus on sustainability is seen positively by industry experts. “The budget's focus on phased mandatory blending of compressed biogas in CNG for transport and PNG, and enabling bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry exhibits India's strong commitment to driving its international initiative Global Biofuels Alliance,” says Nilaya Varma, co-founder of Primus Partners.

Also read: How Budget 2024 can be a catalyst in charting India's green energy course

“The thrust towards bio-based economy has been stepped up with the announcement of new schemes on bio-foundry, bio-manufacturing, financial support for biomass aggregation machinery and mandates for CBG blending,” reckons Anvesha Thakker, partner, Business Consulting and National Industry Lead-Clean Energy, KPMG in India. This should result in debottlenecking some of the constraints such as biomass availability as well as provide new use cases for this sector to grow, for example bio-based substitutes in industries such a polymers, pharmaceuticals etc. Thakker adds: “This not only provides income and growth opportunities for farmers, but also offers avenues for decarbonisation to industries, including promoting regenerative principles in manufacturing.”

Biotechnology has the potential to become an important instrument of global trade and bio-economy contributing to India's overall economy. In November 2023, Science & Technology Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said: “India is poised to be among the top five global bio-manufacturing hubs by 2025.” In 2014, India’s bioeconomy stood at just about $10 billion, today it is $80 billion—an 8x growth—and is expected to touch $300 billion by 2030, explained Singh. Over the years, biotechnology has evolved and made significant contributions to health, medicine and agriculture, and the Centre is bullish on the same, as evident in the finance minister’s speech.