AYUSH Ministry asks for enhanced budgetary allocation

Amid reports that a massive health budget cut is likely, the Ministry of AYUSH has asked the Finance Ministry to hike its budgetary allocation substantially for 2015-16 in view of its emerging importance.

PTI| Last Updated: Jan 16, 2015, 21:39 PM IST

New Delhi: Amid reports that a massive health budget cut is likely, the Ministry of AYUSH has asked the Finance Ministry to hike its budgetary allocation substantially for 2015-16 in view of its emerging importance.

Minister of State for Health Shripad Yesso Naik said the government is working to have an independent drug controller for the Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), separated from the drug controller of modern medicine.

"The Ministry of AYUSH has asked the Finance Ministry to hike the budgetary allocation for propagation and promotion of AYUSH to an extent of Rs 2,700 crore for fiscal 2015-16 from the present level of Rs 400 crore," a PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry statement said, quoting Naik.

The minister said this while inaugurating a conference on "Mainstreaming Ayush: Cultural Heritage for Healing" organised by the Chamber today. Naik indicated that budgetary allocations for AYUSH needed to be multiplied in view of the emerging importance of evolving AYUSH.

The Department of AYUSH aims at providing attention to development of education and research in Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy systems.

The Health Ministry budget is likely to face a massive Rs 6,000-crore cut on account of non-utilisation of the entire budgetary allocation even as its Minister J P Nadda had recently maintained that no flagship programme will be affected due to the cut.

Elaborating about the independent drug controller for Ayush, Naik said that it would be provided with "sufficient teeth" to regulate the AYUSH as per new policy prescription and it would also be provided with a mandate to issue the Certificate of Pharmaceutical Products (COPP) for exports of AYUSH products.

Minister Naik said with an independent drug controller, manufacturers of AYUSH would not have to run from pillar to post to obtain certification from the current arrangements.

"Recruitment rules are being finalised for the new drug controller and cabinet note being finalised for new regulations of AYUSH products under the new AYUSH health policy which would be unveiled very shortly," Naik said.

He said that fresh standards are also being worked out to ensure that quality AYUSH products are made as per new policy prescription so that such products are well tested for their "authenticity, credibility and quality".

Senior Vice President PHD Chamber Mahesh Gupta also echoed the minister views and urged the government to enhance the yearly allocation for AYUSH to an extent of 20 per cent of the total health budget allocations so that money generated is utilised for the expansion, diversification and broad basing of AYUSH.

Chairman of the AYUSH Committee of PHD Chamber Pradeep Multani discussed several issues faced by the industry including issues related to COPP, skill development and training for AYUSH students, request for a system where export of AYUSH raw materials in not hindered by forest department officials of various states and others.