Jammu: Chemists in this winter capital of the state went on strike against the move of Jammu and Kashmir Government of opening of medical shops inside hospital premises across the district.
The protesters led by President Jammu Chemists Association (JCA), Naveen Bali assembled outside Government Medical College Hospital, Bakshi Nagar and raised slogans against the government.
Naveen said, “There are ample medical shops outside Bakshi Nagar Hospital selling the medicines at fair prices. Why 57 shops have been allotted to a single Delhi based company?”
“It is unreasonable to open shops inside all government hospitals which will offer medicines at higher prices affecting both their businesses and the ailing customers, Naveen said, adding “this move will directly affect the livelihood of 2,000 families.”
“Government is opening 57 shops in all district hospitals and this move of the authorities is only to favour some blue-eyed and those at the helm of affairs,” Prem Sharma, General Secretary, Jammu Chemist Shops Association here told UNI.
Mr Sharma said that earlier also the move was initiated by the Government but the Chemists sought stay over the decision, which later was vacated.
“We have many times approached the concerned department in withdrawing the decision but due to nexus between vested-intetests outside and within the machinery, finally, the Government decided to set up these shops,” alleged Mr Sharma.
Meanwhile, protesting chemists led by Association president Naveen Bali held a protest demonstration in Bakshi Nagar area here.
“We have closed all chemist shops in the district today but if no decision is taken, we may extend the strike from tomorrow,” he added and termed the tenderisation of shops to outside players as unethical and illegal.
“We are not against opening of shops but let the Government open it outside hospitals,” said the protesters.
The move will directly affect the livelihood of 2000 families, they said.