The Najma Heptulla committee, which could not table its recommendations in Parliament during the recently concluded winter session due to the political pandemonium, will present its report to the Parliament in the next session, expected to commence from February 12, even if it is a short session.
"The Heptulla committee report will be tabled in Parliament in the next session, possibly in February. Whether the Parliament session is for a short duration or long one, it will not affect us and we will submit the report in the next session. In case the session is for a short duration, the Parliament may not take up the issue for discussion, but the report will be tabled," official sources confirmed.
The Heptulla committee, which has already finalized its report, was to table the report in the recently concluded winter session of Parliament. But the committee could not push through the issue to the Parliament due to the political chaos created by Union minority welfare minister AR Antulay's controversial statement on the death of former ATF chief Hemant Karkare. While the committee was to present its report during the last leg of the last session, Parliament could not transact any business during the last several days of the session due to the simmering political war of words between the treasury and opposition benches on Antulay's remark.
But, even if the committee submits its report, the Parliament is unlikely to take up the issue for discussion, as the possibility of another full-fledged session during the tenure of this government is remote. Sources said that even though there will be a short session of Parliament, most probably in February, the Parliament may not take up comparatively minor issues like this. It will discuss only finance related issues. The main focus will be on the vote on account as the government cannot present a full budget due to the impending general elections due in April, 2009, sources said.
The Najma Heptulla committee was constituted over two years ago to study the impact of the implementation of revised Schedule M on small scale drug units in the country, will table its findings in Parliament in a day or two. The committee's findings will be a key factor in shaping further implementation of revised Schedule M in the country.
The industry, particularly the small and medium units, is eagerly waiting for the Najma committee's findings because the findings will have a far-reaching impact on it. After the implementation of revised schedule M in the year 2005, thousands of small pharma units across the country had no other option but to close down their shops due to the financial problems. Though the government's intention by revising the Schedule M was to enhance the standard of drug manufacturing to ensure maximum efficacy and safety of medicines, thousands of SSIs had to shut down their units since then as they were incapable of modernizing their manufacturing facilities due to high cost involved in the exercise.