Vol. XLI No. 02 January 08, 2017

CITU Denounces Govt Move to Wind-Up Public Sector Drug Companies

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions, in a statement issued on December 29, has denounced the retrograde decision of the union cabinet to wind-up two public sector drug companies – IDPL and RDPL and to privatise two more -- Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd and Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BCPL).

The most dubious is the game plan of selling the huge land assets at prime locations at the disposal of IDPL and RDPL which could be utilised for funding the revival and revamping of the long ailing sick PSUs like IDPL and RDPL. In fact, it is the deliberate neglect of the successive governments at the centre in timely modernising these two PSUs which has made the IDPL and the RDPL sick. Now these two PSUs are targeted for winding up by the present government owing to its commitment and loyalty to the interests of the private pharmaceutical giants, both domestic and foreign and not to the national interests.

Equally condemnable is the cabinet decision to privatise Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd and Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BCPL). Both the PSUs are functioning despite all odds created by the government itself and BCPL has come to the position of earning a margin on their current operation.  BCPL is a 150 year old heritage company set up by renowned scientist Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy and deserves special measures for protection. Both the PSUs have demonstrated their competence and commitment in meeting urgent domestic demands of certain essential life-saving medicines at all occasions of emergency situation in the recent past.

The Narendra Modi government’s special interest in killing all the four drug producing PSUs lies in making the drug-market free for exploitation by the private drug tycoons, mostly foreign multinational companies, that too at a time when prices of most of the essential drugs are zooming high, fleecing the mass of the common people and mocking at all so-called price control measures by the government.

CITU condemns such a gross anti-people move of the Modi government in a desperate selling spree of national assets and demands upon the government to refrain from such retrograde anti-people exercise. CITU calls upon the working people and the trade unions irrespective of affiliations to oppose and resist such draconian measures.