D V Sadananda Gowda, Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers has said that with a vision to provide quality medicines at affordable rates for the common men especially the poor, the Government of India has set a target to increase the number of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJK) to 10500 by the end of March 2024. The PMBJKs are being set up by Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) under Department of Pharmaceuticals, the implementing agency of Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojna (PMBJP).
“With this, all the districts in the country will have Janaushadhi kendras. This will ensure easy reach of affordable medicines to the people in every nook and corner of the country. As on 15 September 2020, the number of stores in the country has increased to 6603,” informed a release from the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.
“In the months of March to June 2020, due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and thereafter, PMBJK had faced many challenges regarding the shortage of APIs and other raw material of pharma and disturbance in the supply of medicines to its retail stores from Central and Regional Warehouses due to transportation issues, etc. Keeping this in view and with the expansion plan, the establishment of an effective IT-enabled logistics and supply-chain system for ensuring real-time distribution of medicines at all outlets is also being chalked out,” informed the release.
At present, four warehouses of Janaushadhi Kendras are functional at Gurugram, Chennai, Bengaluru and Guwahati. Further, it is planned to open two more warehouses in Western and Central India. In addition, the appointment of distributors in States/UTs is also being envisioned to strengthen the supply chain system.
The PMBJP scheme has an approved budget of Rs 490 crores for the period 2020-21 to 2024- 25.