Saturday, February 6th, 2016

Ayurveda hopes a way through the budget

Megha Thomas | February 6, 2016 2:38 pm Print

ayurveda good

Ayurveda Medicine Manufacturers Association of India (AMMOI) has send a memo to the Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy requesting him to give a hand to the Ayurveda sector in the budget which is due for the year 2016-17. The funds if received will be spent on setting up manufacturing units to facilitate bulk production of Ayurvedic medicines and to facilitate the export of the prepared medicines to countries who depend on Kerala for their Ayurvedic needs.

Dr. S.G. Ramesh of Kottackal Arya Vaidyasala told Narada News that, “Though Kerala has enough potential for export we are not eligible to act because of the CGMP( Current Good Manufacturing Practice) guidelines put forth by the latest WHO update. AMMOI has requested the Secretary of Ayush, to provide soft loan from the government in order to establish industries to manufacture herbal medicines.”

The memo send to the State was to put off with the license issued on Ayurvedic medicine manufacturers because the license lists many of the herbal medicines as cosmetics and levies them to commercial tax. The government is also dropping down on its Ayurveda tourism which Sri Lanka is picking up though it is the backbone of the State’s tourism sector. The memo also asked the government to pass a policy to let the public know the purpose of the budget.

A total of postgraduate Ayurveda courses in India, 13 are only offered in Kerala. Adequate measures and professionals in the field should be sought out to start new PG courses in the subject. Of the 22 postgraduate courses on Ayurveda in India, only 13 are offered in Kerala. Steps should be taken to start new PG courses. But according to the Abkari Act special license from the Excise Department of the State was needed to sell Asava and Arishtam in the market because they were mistaken to be alcoholic beverages. Due to this act, the Ayurvedic institutions are grounds to frequent raids. Amendments should be brought out soon to tackle this issue.

The total revenue of the Ayurveda sector in Kerala is more than 1,000 crore which is spread all through 700 manufacturing units across the state. Ironically, though Kerala has a monopoly in terms of Ayurveda, nationally, she accounts for only 25% of the total revenue of the sector. The rainy season and greenery in Kerala is the apt condition for the treatment to start off, as the air is cool and dust free. The Association fear that deforestation is hampering Ayurveda is is a main source of income in terms of tourism for the State. The association believes that Rs 10 crore which would be allocated would be used in starting up cultivation of the medicinal plants.

The total national revenue from the Ayurvedic sector is Rs.1,000 crore of which Kerala’s share is about Rs 50 crore, closely tailed by China with Rs 25,000 crore. The budget if proved fruitful for the Ayurveda sector would help Kerala jump to No1 Position in terms of herbal treatment.