New Delhi: The Finance Ministry has in principle endorsed the proposal to create a new post of the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) exclusively to monitor the Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs that are gaining more popularity within and outside the country.
The Expenditure Finance Committee under the Finance Ministry has approved the proposal for creating the post of the DCGI and strengthening the manpower component also the State drug testing laboratories.
“The EFC, however, has raised certain queries especially in this regard. The Department of Ayush is examining them and preparing the response and justification to obtain the final approval from Finance Ministry. We hope that the clearance will come soon,” a senior official in the Department disclosed.
The Department has sought an allocation of Rs.166 crores for creation of the post of DCGI, along with 40 other posts, including 25 regular and 15 contractual/outsourced posts. This amount also will cover the salaries of scientific manpower in 30 state-run Drug Testing Laboratories. This provision will be made under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Drugs Quality Control under the head – Promotion of Ayush,” sources said.
Presently the demand for traditional Indian medicine — Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and other herbal products — has increased tremendously in India and abroad. The world herbal market is estimated to be $62 billion out of which the share of China is $19 billion and that of India is only $1 billion. There are around 10000 ASU drugs manufacturing units in the country at present, according to the note by the Department.
“To facilitate the increased acceptability of ASU (Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani) medicines within the country and abroad, the core issue is the quality and standardization of ASU products and effective enforcement of the provisions of the Drugs & Cosmetic Act. It is recommended by the Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani Drugs Consultative Committee (ASUDCC) chaired by DCGI that a separate Central Drug Controller for ASU drugs may be created,” sources said.