Jammu: In a bid to benefit Public Sector Undertakings (PSU), the Central government has put the lives of scores of people at risk as the Union Health and Family Welfare Department has asked various states which have been buying Ayurvedic medicines under AYUSH to purchase them from companies which do not make Ayurvedic medicines. Not only this, the companies have been provided relaxation in the testing of drugs.

The government has earmarked Rs 740 crore for the purchase of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani drugs and medicines for various states under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

Earlier, these drugs were purchased from Central Public Sector Enterprises but after the cancellation of Purchase Preference Policy by the Supreme Court on March 31, 2008 the Central government issued a notice on November 27, 2008 to all state governments and Union Territories asking them to buy AYUSH medicines only from Indian Medicines Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited or from those units which have been manufacturing them.

On June 9, 2010 the government allowed the purchase of medicines from Public Sector Undertakings (the letter no 25011/03/2007-HD).

Not only this, the government wrote a letter again on September 8, 2010 seeking relaxation in the testing of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani medicines for one year. The circular was sent to Additional Directors of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut, Mumbai, Nagpur and Patna.

Moreover this month, the government has asked for fifty percent advance payment for the purchased medicines in order to benefit the companies.