Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar today criticised the Mamata Banerjee government for its ‘non-cooperation’ towards various development programmes initiated by the Centre. “Development issues should be above politics in the interest of quality life for people,” the Union minister said. “Whenever we are showcasing benefit of these projects, supporters of ruling party in West Bengal are trying to vandalise our stalls or disrupt our programmes out of political jealousy,” Kumar said inaugurating a programme under ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikash’ here.
Kumar said that he wanted to set up a unit of National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) on over 100 to 150 acres of land with a cost of Rs 500 crore, but alleged that he failed to get any cooperation from the state government. “A number of communications have been made seeking land for the project, but in vain. We are yet to receive any reply from her government,” Kumar said. Kumar also said that he had also given a proposal to the state government for setting up a plastic park in the state, in which the Centre was ready to invest about Rs 1,000 crore.
“But we are yet to get any detailed project report (DPR) from the state government,” he said adding that this project could have employed about 30,000 people. Kumar further said, the Centre was trying to make it mandatory for doctors to prescribe generic medicines. This would counter a wider prevalence among doctors who prescribe branded medicine even when generic medicines are available at fraction of the cost, Kumar said.
The ministry is also in touch with Medical Council of India (MCI) in this regard, he said. “MCI is being asked to amend its statutes from as far as possible prescribe to compulsorily prescribe generic medicines,” he said. Highlighting efficacy of Jan Aushadhi centres, under Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana, Kumar said people could get 650 life saving medicines and 150 health supplements at 3/10th the cost of branded medicines. “Most families are worried about health security given the runaway prices of medicines,” he said adding the central government is committed to provide people affordable health care. Referring to a survey carried out by the government, the minister said 50 per cent of India’s population had no access to quality medicines and health care.
Stating that Jan Aushadi centres and other steps taken by the governments is striving to address this lacunae, the minister said as against 88 jan aushadi centres functional in India three years back, the country now has 1,640 centres under 450 districts in the country. “I hope Mamata Banerjee government will also cooperate with the Centre to set up such centres for the benefit of people,” the Union minister said.