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Gireesh Babu, New Delhi August 12 , 2022
Expressing concern on the fact that the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) has not taken its previous recommendations seriously, the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee (DRSC) on chemicals and fertilisers has reiterated its recommendation that the ministry of chemicals and ferilisers should come out with an action plan with monthly achievable targets along with effective monitoring of various schemes and initiatives of the department.

In an action taken report on its previous recommendations on the Demands for Grants 2022-23 of the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers (Department of Pharmaceuticals), the Parliamentary panel headed by Member of Parliament Kanimozhi Karunanidhi observed that drastic cuts were made in the allocation to the DoP under various heads, in the Budget Estimate (BE) for the year 2022-23, as against the proposals raised by the Department.

For instance, for the year 2022-23, the BE of the Department was Rs. 10,383.25 crore but it was revised downward to just Rs. 2,244.15 crore.

“Thus a drastic cut of about Rs. 8.139.10 crore has been made. Similarly for the year 2021- 22 the BE was Rs. 2,600.52 crore but it was revised downwards to Rs. 470.41 crore and a major cut of Rs. 2,130.11 crore was made. Further for the year 2022-23 an allocation of Rs. 2,202.50 crore has been made for the Central Sector Schemes of the Department,” it said.

Noting the meagre amount allocated to the Department the Committee had recommended that - an annual action plan with monthly achievable targets should be chalked out by the Department in respect of all the developmental schemes for which requisite amount of budgetary allocation has been made under Major Heads 2,852 and 2,552; and concrete steps should be taken for achieving targets under each of the developmental Schemes for timely and resourceful utilization of budgetary allocations made for the year.

However the ministry has submitted that for ‘NIPER’ the Department has set targets which have also been conveyed to the individual NIPERs and monthly review meetings are also stated to be convened but their details have not been furnished to the Committee. Similarly, the Ministry has submitted that they have a ‘Concrete Plan’ for Development of Pharmaceuticals and PLI schemes but details thereof have not been furnished, said the Committee.

Further for ‘Jan Aushadhi Schemes’ and ‘NPPA’ just their BE and Revised Estimates have been furnished to the Committee.

“It appears to the Committee that the Department has not paid serious consideration to the recommendation of the Committee. The Committee, therefore, reiterate their earlier recommendation and desire that the ministry should come out with the action plan with monthly achievable targets along with effective monitoring of implementation of all the Central Sector Schemes and the Committee be apprised accordingly,” said the Committee in its latest report presented to Lok Sabha on August 8, 2022.

The Ministry, in its reply to the Committee, has said earlier, “For the FY 2022-23, the Department had proposed Rs. 10,383.25 crore as Budget Estimates for the financial year. However, only Rs. 2,244.15 crore was allocated by the Ministry of Finance. Department will seek additional funds from the Ministry of Finance at RE Stage, if need be.”

It added that the Department has set targets, which have been conveyed to the individual NIPERs. Monthly review meetings with Directors of all NIPERs are held at the level of Secretary of the Department and on quarterly basis at the level of Hon’ble minister for chemicals & fertilizers. It will be ensured that the funds allocated by Department of Expenditure will be utilized for construction of campuses of NIPERs at Raebareli, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Hajipur and also for purchase of equipment as well to meet recurring expenditure of the Institute.

The Department has a concrete plan to achieve the targets envisaged schemes such as PLI, strengthening the Pharmaceutical Industry, etc. The prescribed monitoring mechanism envisaged under the Schemes such as Empowered Committee for the PLI schemes of Bulk Drugs and Medical Devices and the Scheme Steering Committee (SSC) of the SPI scheme, etc will be fully involved in the monitoring of the implementation of the schemes. Further, the Project Management Agencies (PMAs) appointed under the PLI and SPI schemes will be fully involved in monitoring the progress of the schemes, as per the milestones envisaged. Department has proposed an amount of Rs. 1,767.02 crore as BE 2022- 2023 for the Scheme “Development of Pharmaceutical Industry. However, Rs. 1,729.00 crore has been allocated. The additional funds will be sought from the Ministry of Finance at RE Stage if need be, it informed the Committee.

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