Union minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey

Assam has missed an opportunity to use Central fund to the tune of Rs. 49 crore to have a drugs regulatory system in the state.

Union minister of state for health and family welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey said this recently in Lok Sabha while replying to a question by Congress MP Abdul Khaleque.

“The government has approved a proposal for strengthening the drug regulatory system in the country, both under the Central and state governments at a total expenditure of Rs. 1750 crores,” the Minister said in his reply.

“The state of Assam has been allocated an indicative amount of Rs. 49 crore. The government of Assam has not signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Central government and hence no fund has been released,” he said.

The scheme had two components—strengthening of the central drugs standard control organization (CDSCO) at a cost of Rs. 900 crore and strengthening of state’s drugs regulatory system at a cost of Rs. 850 crore.

“A sum of Rs.18.14 crore has been released to Regional Drugs Testing Laboratory (RTDL) at Guwahati for construction of new laboratory under the scheme. The central public works department (CPWD) has utilized Rs.13.34 crore out of the said amount,” the minister said.

He said a total of 17 posts have been sanctioned for RTDL Guwahati in order to cater to the increased workload, 41 contractual manpower has also been provided.