Context: The Government of India recently decided to allow 2000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) to open Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendras across the country. 1000 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendras will be opened by August and 1000 by December, this year.
About Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS)
- The Primary Agricultural Cooperative credit societies (PACS) constitute the lowest tier of the three-tier Short-term cooperative credit (STCC) in the country.
Importance of PACS
- PACS account for 41 % (3.01 Cr. farmers) of the KCC loans given by all entities in the Country and 95 % of these KCC loans (2.95 Cr. farmers) through PACS are to the Small and Marginal farmers.
About Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendras
- These are the outlets where anyone can buy generic medicine at very low prices.
- The Scheme is implemented by a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, viz., Pharma & Medical Bureau of India (PMBI).
- The product basket of PMBJP comprises 1800 drugs and 285 surgical items.
Obejctives of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendras
- Ensure access to quality medicines for all sections of the population especially the poor and the deprived ones.
- Create awareness about generic medicines through education and publicity to counter the perception that quality is synonymous with high prices only.
- Generate employment by engaging individual entrepreneurs in the opening of PMBJP Kendra.