Pharma PSUs need to be revived: House panel

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 17 2013, 09:30am hrs
A parliamentary committee has suggested revival of pharmaceutical public sector undertakings like HAL and IDPL for large scale production of affordable generic medicines to be provided to common man.

"They (pharma PSUs) need to be revived, restrengthened and made dynamic and healthy so that generic medicines and vaccines are produced in larger quantities and made available to the masses at reasonable prices," Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce said in its report on 'FDI in Pharmaceutical Sector'.

The committee, which was chaired by BJP member Shanta Kumar, also felt the need to investigate the reasons behind the poor performance and near closure of PSU's and to ensure that resources are utilised in the appropriate manner.

The committee observed that the absence of a robust public sector health service has impeded the universalisation of healthcare.

"In a situation when the private sector fails to step in and address the health needs of this country, the public sector would be credible system to cater to our growing health needs," it added.

A robust public sector would ensure self sufficiency and shield the pharma sector from adverse affects of market dynamics and investment policies, it said.

IDPL, the largest central pharma public sector undertaking in India, was formally declared sick by the Board for Industrial & Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) on August 12, 1992. The government has already approved the rehabilitation scheme of Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd (HAL) on March 9, 2006, which involves the cash infusion of Rs 137.59 crore and waiver of past loans and interest thereupon to the extent of Rs 259.43 crore as of March 31, 2005.