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A national body of chemists Friday urged the Centre to allow wholesalers and distributors of medicines to accept defunct notes and sought a hike in weekly cash withdrawal limit to Rs 48,000 from Rs 24,000 now. These measures will help in smooth running of business of pharma wholesalers and distributors, All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) said.
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“We have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow pharma wholesalers and distributors to accept old notes (of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000) for smooth supply of life-saving drugs. The government has already allowed retailers to accept old notes,” AIOCD President J S Shinde said in a statement Mumbai.
He lauded the government’s decision to demonetise the high-value notes. Shinde said: “As per government orders, pharmacies in private and government hospitals are providing medicines to customers in exchange of old notes. But they have not received new notes in adequate quantity. As a result, the supply of medicines from sellers and distributors to them is restricted.”
The problem will be solved if wholesalers and distributors, too, are permitted to accept the now obsolete currencies. This will ensure supply of life-saving drugs to patients is not affected, he reasoned.
“Another demand we have is permitting withdrawal of Rs 48,000 instead of Rs 24,000 per week,” he said. AIOCD, which has about eight lakh members involved in sale and distribution of medicines, Thursday postponed its one-day all India chemist strike on November 23 following the government’s assurances to find an amicable solution to the issue of online sale of medicines.