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Dr Mandaviya Inaugurates Credit Assistance Program for Jan Aushadhi Kendras

Written by : Jayati Dubey

March 13, 2024

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With around 11,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras currently operational, the government aims to increase their number to 25,000 in the next two years.

Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Health & Family Welfare, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya has inaugurated a credit assistance program for Jan Aushadhi Kendras, aiming to expand access to affordable medicines across India.

The inauguration ceremony included the exchange of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Bureau of India (PMBI).

Additionally, a website for credit assistance to Jan Aushadhi Kendras was launched.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Mandaviya underscored the importance of accessible and affordable medicines, referring to them as 'Sanjeevani' for low-income people, a term coined by PM Narendra Modi.

The Union Minister further highlighted Jan Aushadhi Kendras's remarkable growth, which increased from 80 in 2014 to around 11,000 units operating nationwide.

"It is estimated that around 10 to 12 Lakh people visit these Jan Aushadhi Kendras every day, providing them with significant savings and access to requisite medicines," Minister Mandaviya added.

Strengthening Jan Aushadhi Kendras Network

Dr Mandaviya outlined the efforts undertaken by the Union Government to strengthen the Jan Aushadhi Kendras network, including streamlining procurement processes, expanding product offerings, ensuring a consistent supply chain, and enforcing rigorous quality control measures.

He also emphasized the government's financial support to individual Kendra operators, particularly those in remote and hilly regions, to encourage their establishment. This support promotes financial autonomy among small entrepreneurs and enhances the accessibility of Jan Aushadhi Kendras across the country.

The Union Minister expressed his satisfaction with the MoU between SIDBI and PMBI, highlighting its potential to benefit small and new entrepreneurs associated with Jan Aushadhi Kendras.

He lauded the initiative's role in further enhancing, strengthening, and modernizing the Kendra network, urging officials to promote its benefits to states and stakeholders to ensure optimal utilization.

Shri Sivasubramanian Raman, chairman & MD, SIDBI, elaborated on the credit assistance program's mechanics, emphasizing its utilization of both the GST and India's Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) to provide unsecured working capital loans for small businesses.

According to him, DPI is currently based on the layers of identity (through Aadhar) and payment (through UPI linked with Aadhar).

“Today we are adding a third layer, a 'credit layer' using the other two layers in order to make credit flow to crores of small businesses who are not able to secure loans from banks and then get exploited by moneylenders," he stated.

Future Plans

The Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana has been pivotal in providing affordable and quality medicines to Indian citizens.

With around 11,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras currently operational, the government aims to increase their number to 25,000 in the next two years.

These Kendras, supported by private entrepreneurs and government incentives, offer a wide range of medicines and surgical devices, catering to millions of visitors daily and significantly reducing out-of-pocket expenditure on healthcare.

The credit assistance program, facilitated through two MoUs between SIDBI and PMBI, aims to provide working capital assistance to existing and proposed Jan Aushadhi Kendras.

Under the project loan component, funding up to 80% of the project cost, amounting to INR 4 Lakhs will support infrastructural establishment.

Utilizing the GST-Sahay technology platform, SIDBI is expected to disburse funds to micro and small enterprises, leveraging the partnership between SIDBI and PMBI to enhance financing for aspiring entrepreneurs.

With the collaboration between SIDBI and PMBI, the initiative aims to strengthen healthcare infrastructure and empower small entrepreneurs, contributing to the nation's socio-economic development.


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