The conclave was organised with the motto “Sahakar – se – Samriddhi” to highlight the major initiatives taken by the Ministry of Cooperation and progress achieved so far. As per the new model byelaws adopted by the Ministry of Cooperation, the scope of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) has been widened beyond their original function of dealing with agricultural credits in the grassroot level. PACS are now empowered to access many other avenues like opening of Jan Aushadhi Kendras.
Shri Amit Shah highlighted that “the benefits of the decision to allow PACS to open Jan Aushadhi Kendras will not only be accessed by the cooperative societies but will flow down to the lowest strata of the community”. He pointed out that in the last 9 years, approximately Rs. 26,000 crores of poor people’s money have been saved through the Jan Aushadhi Kendras. Generic medicines are available at 50-90% of market prices at these Kendras, ensuring affordable healthcare.
Shri Amit Shah also shed light on other important initiatives of the Union Government like the Ayushman Bharat initiative, Mission Indradhanush, Jal Jeevan Mission, Digital Health, Malaria Elimination Mission, TB Mukt Bharat Initiative etc. He said that these initiatives have transformed the healthcare landscape of the country. He highlighted that besides improving healthcare infrastructure in the country through PM-ABHIM and providing free health insurance for the poor through AB-PMJAY, the government has also substantially reduced the over-the-counter cost of buying medicines by the expanding the network of Jan Aushadhi Kendras and ensuring the availability of diverse high-quality medicines in these centres. “Medicines for dialysis that costs Rs. 65 are available for only Rs. 5 in Jan Aushadhi Kendras”, he stated.
Addressing the gathering, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya informed that “in the first phase, 2,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras are planned to be opened through PACS”. He also informed that the Dept. of Pharmaceuticals have already approved more than 2,300 applications from PACS for opening Jan Aushadhi Kendras in the country, of which 500 are already functional at present. He stated that “opening Jan Aushadhi Kendras through PACS would strengthen PACS as a cooperative organisation besides expanding the reach of quality and affordable medicines in the country”.
The Union Minister highlighted the merits of the Jan Aushadhi scheme, especially for the poorer section of the society. He stated that “the aim of the Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana is to provide good and affordable medicines to the consumers along with providing them employment opportunities.” “More than 10,500 Jan Aushadhi Kendras are operating in the country which are providing more than 1,965 high-quality medicines and 293 surgical and other products at 50 to 90 percent of the cost of branded medicines available in the market”, he stated.
The Union Ministers presented symbolic certificates of store codes to five PACS representatives from Jammu & Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. The participants comprising of representatives from various PACS across the country expressed their satisfaction on the policies being implemented for PACS and also shared their experiences under the newly adopted model byelaws in the conclave.
Shri Gyanesh Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Cooperation; Shri Arunish Chawla, Secretary, Dept. of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers; senior officials of the Union Government and representatives of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana and PACS from across the country were present in the event.