The approvals were given during the ninth meeting of the empowered committeeThe government has accorded approval to eight companies under the production linked incentive (PLI) scheme to promote domestic manufacturing of medical devices, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers said on Thursday.The approvals were given during the ninth meeting of the empowered committee held on November 25 after considering all the applications as per the scheme guidelines, the ministry said in a statement.”The setting up of these eight plants will lead to a total committed investment of Rs 260.4 crore by the companies and employment generation of about 2,599. The commercial production is projected to commence from April 1, 2023, onwards,” it added.With this the total applications approved under both rounds aggregate to 21 applicants with committed investment of Rs 1,059.33 crore and employment generation of about 6,411, the statement noted.The setting of these plants will make the country self-reliant to a large extent in the specified target segments in the medical devices sector, it added.With an objective to boost domestic manufacturing, attract large investment in the medical device sector, the Department of Pharmaceuticals had launched a PLI scheme to ensure a level playing field for the domestic manufacturers of medical devices with a total financial outlay of Rs 3,420 crore for the period 2020-21 to 2027-28.In a separate statement, the ministry said that the empowered committee also approved various applicants in the bulk drugs segment as well.The establishment of eight plants would lead to a total committed investment of about Rs 151.12 crore by the companies and employment generation of about 1,951, the statement noted.The commercial production of these plants is projected to commence from April 1, 2023, onwards, it added. “With this, the total applications approved under both rounds aggregate to 50 applicants with committed investment of Rs 4,498.38 crore and employment generation of about 10,743. Setting up of these plants will make the country self-reliant to a large extent in respect of these Bulk drugs,” the ministry said.Currently, India is significantly dependent on the import of basic raw materials — bulk drugs that are used to produce medicines. In some specific bulk drugs, the import dependence is 80 to 100 per cent.