Nearly 60 per cent of pharma import and export take place from the JNPT port
On April 8, 2020, Dr Dinesh Dua, Chairman, Pharmexcil highlighted this issue in a zoom call with Piyush Goyal, Commerce and Industry Minister, along with Hardeep Singh Puri, MOS, C&I; Anup Wadhawan, Special Secretary, Department of Commerce; Amit Yadav, DG, DGFT and other top officials at the Ministry of Commerce.
It was brought to the notice of top government officials that nearly 60 per cent of pharma import and export take place from the JNPT port and various factors arising due to the novel COVID-19 have led to bottlenecks in operating from this port.
Dr Dua said, “We are hopeful that there will be some timely action will get initiated by the authority and help the industry at large.”
On April 13, a video conference was conducted under the chairmanship of Dr PD Vaghela, Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals to review the operations and issues of the pharma and medical devices industry. The video conference was attended by Navdeep Rinwa, JS-Policy and representatives of various associations of drugs and medical devices manufacturers, including IPA, IDMA, OPPI, BDMA, Pharmexcil, CII, FICCI, AiMeD, MTaI, and All India Association of Chemists and Druggists.
Sudarshan Jain, Secretary-General, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) said, “Due to COVID-19, we are seeing less attendance at the ports, which is affecting pharma consignments which are lying at the ports or at warehouses of the pharma companies.”
“Due to unavailability of containers, trucks and labour it had become difficult for pharma companies to continue operations. We are seeing some movements now, but again it is not satisfactory. Although, the government’s notification to all government employees to resume the work on an urgent basis, will speed up the hindered process,” he stated.
Mahesh Doshi, President, Indian Drugs Manufacturers Association (IDMA) said, “On April 13, during the Video conference, the representatives of all associations pointed out the congestion at JNPT port and its effect on the production of pharma companies. The point was taken up for consideration by the DoP. Now, DoP will take up the issue with the respective authorities.”
However, V Rajappan, Assistant Drug Controller (India), CDSCO – Port Office Mumbai informed, “We are operating 24X7. As and when we get any application, we grant the approvals immediately. Although there are some issues pertaining to containers, trucks and labour, we are anticipating that they will get resolved shortly.”
Reportedly, there are more than 9000 containers with consignments from different sectors lying at the JNPT port. Soon after the announcement of the initial 21-days’ lockdown in the country, the JNPT port faced difficulties in continuing operations due to shortage of employees, truck drivers etc.