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Shardul Nautiyal, Mumbai January 25 , 2021
The Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) has registered sales worth Rs. 484 crore upto January 12, 2021 of the financial year (FY) 2020-2021 with the setting up of new 260 Jan Aushadhi centres taking the total number of Jan Aushadhi centres to 7,064 centres across the country.

PMBJP scheme has been approved with a budget of Rs. 490 crore for the period 2020-2021 to 2024- 2025. Centre also plans to set up 10,500 Jan Aushadi Kendras by end of March 2025.

The figure of Rs. 484 crore in FY 2020-2021 is 60% higher than the corresponding figures of the previous FY 2019-2020 which has led to savings of Rs. 3,000 crore to the citizens of this country. In the FY 2019-2020, the Government of India’s grant for the Jan Aushadi Kendras was Rs 35.51 crore while savings to citizens were Rs. 2600 Crore.

PMBJP had faced many challenges in the month of March to June, 2020, regarding shortage of API and other raw material of pharmaceuticals, disturbance in supply of medicines to Jan Aushadhi Kendras from Central and regional warehouses due to non-availability of vehicles for transportation among other issues.

Despite the COVID lockdown and testing times, PMBJP clocked sales turnover of Rs. 146.59 crore in the first quarter of 2020-2021 as compared to Rs. 75.48 crore achieved in the first quarter of 2019-2020. Between July and September 15, 2020, the stores added sales of Rs. 109.43 crore.

In the month of July, 2020, BPPI added a sales of Rs. 48.66 crore. The total sales up to July 31, 2020 stood at Rs. 191.90 crore.

The Jan Aushadi Kendras remained functional during lockdown and maintained operations as part of their commitment to ensure uninterrupted availability of essential medicines. They sold about 15 lakhs face masks, 80 lakhs tablets of hydroxychloroquine and 100 lakhs paracetamol tablets, which saved around Rs. 1260 crore of the citizens.

The present basket of medicines sold by these kendras consists of 1,250 medicines and 204 surgical instruments. The target is set to enhance it up to 2,000 medicines and 300 surgical products by the end of March 31, 2024 so that all essential medicines covering therapeutic groups, like - anti diabetics, cardiovascular drugs, anti-cancer, analgesics and antipyretics, anti-allergic, gastro intestinal agents, vitamins and minerals, food supplements and tropical medicines among others.

The cost of Jan Aushadi medicines is cheaper at least by 50% and in some cases, by 80% to 90% of the market price of branded medicines. These medicines are procured on an open tender basis from WHO-GMP compliant manufacturers only.

The incentive provided to the centre owners has been enhanced from existing Rs. 2.50 lakh to up to Rs. 5 lakh to be given @ 15% of monthly purchases made subject to a ceiling of Rs. 15,000 per month.

One-time incentives of Rs. 2 lakh is to be provided to the PMBJP Kendras opened in North-Eastern States, Himalayan areas, Island territories and backward areas mentioned as aspirational district by NITI Aayog or opened by women entrepreneur, Divyang, SC and ST in the form of furniture and fixtures.

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