Mumbai, Sept 03
Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya Tuesday said he does not have any information about the shortage of medicines in the troubled Jammu & Kashmir, which is under Central rule and is also under information blockade, He said the state health department renders services, and also affirmed the Centre's desire to supply medicines if there is a need for the same.”It is the state health department that provides (medical) services there. But there is no information with us about there being a shortage of medicines anywhere,” he told reporters here.Mandaviya, who as the Union minister for chemicals and fertilizers, looks after the pharm sector as well, was replying to a specific question on the work done by his ministry in the wake of reports about difficulties on the health front in the sensitive state.There were reports of patients suffering in the newly-formed Union Territory due to both shortage of medicines and lack of communication facilities.The state administration has also denied any lack of facilities on the medical front.
Parts of the Kashmir Valley still continue to be under lockdown, even a month after the Centre abrogated Article 370 and divided the state into two UTs. Speaking on the other initiatives taken by the pharma department, he said people are saving Rs 12,000 crore annually after the government capped prices of 1,000 drug formulations. Additionally, it has opened 5,600 Jan Aushadhi shops to make generic drugs which are much cheaper, more available to the common people, he said. About pharma companies' concerns on price caps and the detrimental impact it may have on R&D spends due to a lack of incentives, he initially said research and innovation are very important for the government. “However, one also has to keep in mind the requirements of people,” he added.
Mandaviya, who also holds the independent charge of the shipping ministry, was speaking after inspecting a just- inducted emergency towing vessel by the Mumbai Port Trust.The Chinese-made vessel costs Rs 38 crore, officials of the agency from which it was hired, said.On the future of projects initiated by his predecessor Nitin Gadkari, the minister said a review of the same will be done soon and that he already had a review meeting with officials of one of oldest ports and will be announcing the way ahead soon, he added.