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Centre allows PACS to open 2000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras

The Cooperation Ministry on Tuesday said the government has decided to allow 2,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) to open Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendras across the country. Around 1,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras will be opened by August, the rest by December this year, the ministry said in a statement.

A decision in this regard was taken in a meeting between Cooperation Minister Amit Shah and Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Mansukh S Mandaviya here, it added.

2,000 PACS across the country will be identified to open Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendras, 1,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras will be opened by August and 1,000 by December, this year.

This important decision will not only increase the income of PACS and create employment opportunities but will also make medicines available at affordable prices to the people, especially those living in rural areas, it said.

More than 9,400 Jan Aushadhi Kendras have been opened across the country till now. About 1,800 types of medicines and 285 other medical devices are available in these Kendras. Medicines at these Kendras are available at a 50 to 90 per cent lesser rate in comparison to the branded medicines.

The ministry said the eligibility criteria for the individual applicants to open Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra is to have D Pharma/B Pharma. Any organization, NGO, charitable organization and hospital can apply for this by appointing B Pharma / D Pharma degree holders.

For opening Jan Aushadhi Kendra, at least 120 square feet of space either privately owned or rental should be available. The application fee for Kendra is Rs 5,000.

Women entrepreneurs, divyang, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and ex-servicemen come under special category. Aspirational districts, the Himalayan Mountain Region, Northeastern States, and islands are in special areas. There is an exemption in the application fee for applicants from special categories and special areas.

The incentive amount for Jan Aushadhi Kendra is Rs 5 lakh (15 percent of monthly purchases or a maximum of Rs 15,000 per month). One time additional incentive of Rs 2 lakh as reimbursement for IT and infra expenditure in special categories and areas is also provided, the ministry added. PTI

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