Drug shops in Jammu are observing a 72-hour strike to protest against the state government’s decision to allow non-state subjects to run medical centres in hospitals.
“All chemist shops will remain closed for 72 hours. We are protesting against the state government’s decision to facilitate non state subjects to run chain of chemist shops within hospitals,” Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries (JCCI) president Rakesh Gupta told reporters in Jammu.
The chamber of commerce and industry, and Jammu and Kashmir chemist and druggists association mentioned that J&K Medical Supplies Association was given mandate to procure and distribute medicines and medical equipment to government, medical colleges and associated hospitals with the purpose of centralising the whole process of procurement.
“The J&K Medical Supplies Council went further with malafide intension of accommodating non-state subjects to run chain of shops without any demand for running of 24*7 chemist shops as already many outlets have been provided by the government inside the government hospitals,” Gupta said.
“We feel this was purely done in lieu of exchange for favours and we see it as an attempt of a larger plan by few government officers and politicians to eliminate the entrepreneurs who have not sought any aid from the government,” he said.
Gupta said, “It would not be out of place to mention that so-called low price medical shops are selling at higher rates than available in the market, thus cheating the poor and suffering humanity. We as an association and responsible organisation are against unhealthy competition by way of discounts offered which shall lead to entry of counterfeit and spurious medicines.”
The JCCI president appealed to the government to intervene and maintain the status-quo as the matter is subjudice.
“Till then, no new shops be allowed to be opened and the process by which the tenders were manipulated and given to the non-state subjects which was the basic clause of the tender be enquired by CBI so that the culprits can be prosecuted and justice given to sufferers,” he added.