New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan on Sunday informed that there are 7500 Jan Aushadhi Kendras across various districts of the country and said that the government is committed to increasing their number to 10,000 by the year 2024.
The Minister was inaugurating a Jan Aushadhi Centre at Deep Market in Ashok Vihar area of the national capital on the occasion of Jan Aushadhi Diwas, today.
Detailing Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP)'s journey at the event, Harsh Vardhan said, "In the first six years of the scheme - from 2008 till the year 2014, only 86 stores were opened. In the next six years (up to 2020) the number of outlets have grown to 7,300. All the districts of the country have already been covered. Today, we have started the 7500th Kendra. We are committed to increasing the number of stores to 10,000 by the year 2024."
Approximately 1 to 1.25 crore people are taking medicines from Jan Aushadhi Kendra every month, the Union Minister said.
"More than 15,000 persons are directly employed at various levels in Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra's (PMBJKs), with logistics partners like distributors, quality testing labs etc. It is also praiseworthy to note that more than 1,000 Kendras are run by women entrepreneurs/pharmacists," he said.
The Union Minister also informed regarding two initiatives taken under PMBJP scheme.
"The incentive provided to the Kendra owners has been enhanced from existing Rs 2.50 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, maximum at Rs 15,000 per month. Further, one time incentive of Rs 2 lakhs for computer and furniture have been approved for stores opened by women, SC and ST & any entrepreneur in aspirational districts or North-Eastern States," he said.
"The second initiative taken is the 'inclusion of 75 Ayush medicines in the product basket of PMBJP' to expand the utility of Kendras," he added.
The Union Minister recollected having been satisfied at the availability of Jan Ausadhi at Mon in Nagaland in his recent trip. The district is one of the geographically remotest parts of North East.
During the event, Harsh Vardhan appreciated the role of PMBJKs during COVID-19 pandemic.
He said, "In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, PMBJKs have rendered essential services to the nation. All Kendras (PMBJKs) maintained their operations regularly and made medicines available to citizens. The sale of medicines in the stores increased during the nationwide lockdown."
In 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared March 7 as Jan Aushadhi Diwas for promoting and increasing the outreach of generic medicines.
The theme of 3rd Jan Aushadhi Diwas this year is "Seva bhi- Rozgar Bhi" to highlight the meaningful employment to pharmacists along with assured access to quality medicines for all sections of the society. (ANI)