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Drug department order puts chemists in a fix

By Bindu Shajan Perappadan

NEW DELHI, FEB.5. For the 6,000-odd chemists operating in the Capital, the going seems to be getting only tougher with the State Drug Control Department now asking them to get their books in order or face cancellation of their licences.

The latest order is directed specifically at erring government servants doubling up as full time pharmacists -- a duplication that the latest order will put to an immediate end, said State health officials.

According to the latest order, the affidavit to be filed by chemists for obtaining and renewing licenses will now have two new clauses.

The new addition requires that cheques be issued as pay slips to the pharmacist employed in chemist shops across the Capital and also an attendance register with separate space for specifying duty hours be maintained which would be cross-checked from time to time by competent authorities.

"The order which has been brought in for the Capital alone, for the time being has been put in place to check proliferation in the number of government servants taking up pharmacists work as an additional source of income. We have been receiving complaints about the same and these orders would go a long way in curbing the duplication,'' explained the Delhi Assistant Drug Controller, Ravi Kant.

Explaining how the new order is expected to work, officials said the cheque would ensure that there was no duplication of salary. "No government servant will like to have a proof of a second salary and we are certain that the mandatory pay cheque will discourage a lot of government servants from even trying for the same. Also, the mandatory registration being issued for the chemists will ensure that the things are put in black and white that will be checked annually. Also, the chemist has to inform the authorised office every time he changes his pharmacists, that will ensure that we have a record of those in services,'' said a health official.

The programme that has already had its trial run is finally in place and is expected, if successful, to be implemented in other parts of the country.

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