Chemists and druggists have called off their three-day strike that was scheduled to start on Tuesday.
The Maharashtra State Chemist and Druggist Association (MSCDA) said the strike was called off after the state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) minister, Satej Patil, agreed to institute a committee, which will meet four times a year to address their issues.
Last week, around 6,000 medical shops in Mumbai, and more than 75,000 in the state had announced the strike to protest against alleged harassment by FDA inspectors. MSCDA had alleged that the inspectors would penalise their members by closing down chemist shops for 10 days in one place, while other shops would be asked to shut down for 30 days.
On Monday, members of the association had a meeting with Patil and commissioner of state FDA, Mahesh Zagade. “They demanded that the punishment for flouting norms be uniform across the state,” said Zagade.
However, the Drugs Inspector Welfare Association (DIWA) of FDA condemned the allegations.
“There are about 60,000 chemists across the state and action has been taken against only 400-odd ones. The punitive actions are being taken in accordance with the provisions in the law. They [chemists] have accused drugs inspectors of harassment and corruption, which is not correct as we are only performing our duty,” said RP Chaudhari, president, DIWA.