Fifty percent of pharma units operating in the state are facing raw material procurement problems all over India from bulk drug manufacturers as well as from importers and traders. Black marketing of raw material is making it a challenge for the Himachal pharma industry to maintain existing MRPs. This has been stated by Himachal drug Manufacturers association in a letter written to Chief Minister JaiRam Thakur. “Sir it is our duty to inform you about certain problems and need based demands to be resolved immediately so as to restore approximately 20% of state revenue generation by pharma industry,” states the letter. Adding,” some practical problems which need to be resolved immediately to get results in next 10-15 days to avoid death of Himachal pharma MSME industries,” rued the letter.
The letter further states that even allied industry, especially bottle manufacturer/ mono carton/PVC/Alu packing/Corrugated box etc are highly impacted by the lock-down and are running at only 15-20% capacity. Rajesh Gupta President of the association requested that local raw material manufacturers to various pharma units should be allowed to open from 2-3 hours a day to streamline the raw material movement/dispatches to serve the purpose of getting 50% output atleast. Further like on lines of Gujrat, Maharashtra and Punjab they have also demanded a waiver of fixed and demand charges in electricity bills for MSME industry on immediate basis.
Another issue brought forward by the association is that currently many MSME entrepreneurs/workforce and top organization executives working in pharma industry at BBN, Parwanoo, Solan, Tahliwal, Una, Sansarpur Terrace kangra, Kala –Amb, Poanta Sahib and Simour district are not able to attend offices as they are struck up in Tri-city. Many of these could have been handy in improving the manufacturing efficiency from these industrial areas. Adding Gupta stated that minimum 5 persons per each pharma unit from outside the state should allowed to and fro pass for a period of 8 hours every day. These clearances could be verified through state drug administrators. The process can work on similar lines like is being done for various transporters/ truck drivers/ essential service providers, he added. The relaxation requested shall include of minimum 2 partners and concerned head of accounts/HR/Production/Q.C/Q.A of each pharma unit. Justifying that the step would help to monitor and motivate the whole production line thus improving efficiency. Secondly, the association has also requested that during shift timings the pharma workforce may be allowed to transit by foot and on two wheelers.
“And if the administration will not allow the same the entire pharma industry will be on ventilators,” stated the letter.
Both the demands by the association mainly pertain to areas which have been declared red zones in the state. In the letter association elaborated that currently red zones of Derabassi Industrial area, Panchkula and Chandigarh have already facilitated intercity movement on line of implementation as done in Delhi NCR. “Thus we request you to examine such movement and accordingly allow,” stated the demand letter.
As per the association the current pandemic situation is not going to relax for the next 2-3 months, therefore to protect the industry a road map up to September should be prepared to deal with any panic situation within the industry and nearby areas. Currently ‘Jharmajri’ red zone is resulting in shutting down of 45 pharma units.