The Jammu and Kashmir Drugs and Food Control Organization (DFCO) is facing dearth of funds, human resource and proper infrastructure to regulate the existing drug regulatory mechanism.
The DFCO Jammu states that the insufficient funding, pending liabilities and inadequate human resources are some major deficiencies in the existing drug regulatory mechanism that needs to addressed for better enforcement of regulatory mechanism.
The DFCO controller Lotika Khajuria complains of insufficient funding and pending liabilities for the Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC) and Comprehensive Maintenance Contract (CMC) of machinery and equipment.
The department has also deficiency of funds for material and supplies, outsourcing liability of Rs 28.5 lakh for watch and ward, retainer-ship of legal counsels/filing of appeal, hiring on staff, chemicals and glassware’s, sample money/retesting, rent rate and taxes (Liability of Rs 47.57 lakhs) in the existing drug regulatory mechanism.
Khajuria said this in a reply to State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) after the Commission directed DFCO to prepare a scheme that would suggest improvements in the system to minimize supply and sale of spurious and sub-standard drugs.
The DFCO also informed the Commission that for better enforcement of regulatory mechanism account heads for drugs and food wing of the department need to be separated and amendments are needed in drugs and food control gazetted recruitment rules and framing of non-gazetted recruitment rules.
Khajuria told the SHRC, “There are inadequate human resources in drug testing labs and nomenclature of posts requires to be changed in view of regulatory requirements,” adding “No funds are available for hiring of vehicles to carry out supervisory labs.”
The SHRC chairperson Justice (Retd) Bilal Nazki in September 2018 directed the DFCO to prepare a scheme within six months and forward it to government.
While disposing of the case Nazki said, “Government shall consider the matter and take appropriate steps in the light of scheme, so prepared by the drug controller.” The petition of the case was filed by activist M M Shuja.