GUWAHATI, July 21 - The move of the State government to separate Assam Ayurvedic Products � a production unit of the Assam Small Industries Development Corporation (ASIDC) � and turn it into a company and possibly hand it over to private parties has raised questions on the government�s sincerity in running the thriving entity.
The move is all the more surprising because the Centre has of late accorded a lot of emphasis on promoting the Ayurvedic system of treatment across the country through the Union Ministry of AYUSH, government departments and agencies.
Set up in 1967, Assam Ayurvedic Products � both manufacturer and supplier � has to its credit nearly 144 different types of Ayurvedic medicines that have also been able to make good inroads into the region�s Ayurvedic market. It also has a drugs testing laboratory. Its present staff strength is around 30, including regular and contractual employees.
The employees� union has taken strong exception to the government�s initiative to separate Assam Ayurvedic Products from the ASIDC and pave the way for its privatization, saying that the move amounted to a conspiracy to stifle the thriving unit and also to harm the interests of its employees.
�At a time when the country is witnessing a renewed emphasis on promotion of the Ayurvedic system of healing, the Assam government is trying to put an end to its existing production unit. We believe that the unit can flourish under the ASIDC and hence there is no need to separate it from its parent body,� it said.
As per the Central government norms, half the products of the unit are procured by the Union Ministry of AYUSH and the State health department. It is feared that once it is turned into a company, this benefit will elude the unit.
�There is a lot of scope to develop Assam Ayurvedic Products further in sync with the Centre�s policy to promote Ayurvedic medicine. Instead of exploring these prospects, the State government wants to ruin it,� it said.
The union alleged that a resolution to separate the unit from the ASIDC was taken during the board meeting (No. 218) on April 3, 2018 even though the resolution was not there in the original agenda.
�This smacks of a deep-rooted conspiracy against Assam Ayurvedic Products. This must be resisted,� it said.