KATHMANDU, Sept 12: The resumption of Cetamol production by the state-owned Nepal Drugs Ltd (NDL) has been rescheduled for November as delay in the arrival of raw materials for infrastructure development continues.
The NDL had decided to resume the production from mid-September but as infrastructure development has not been completed, it has been pushed back by one and a half months.
Robhash Kusam Subedi, the general manager at NDL, said: “We had planned for the production to restart on September 17 but the new facility has not been set up because of which the plan had to be changed.”
“The implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India and EXIM Codes in Nepal has caused delay in the import of raw materials such as like air handling unit, partition, and panels from India,” he said: “The problem of accounting procedure at the customs point has caused the delay.”
GST came into effect on July 1, 2017 and the traders of both the countries have been finding it difficult to adjust to the new tax regime.
“A tablet of Cetamol can cost up to a rupee, which is cheaper than other manufacturers, and it can even come down to less than a rupee,” Subedi added: “As we have restarted the facility with the motto ‘quality medicine at reasonable cost’, we will try to supply the medicine at an adjusted price that is as cheap as possible.”
The NDL had stopped Cetamol production eight years ago in 2009 as it had failed to meet the criteria of Good manufacturing Practices (GMP) set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
On May 7 this year, the NDL resumed production of Jeevan Jal, an oral rehydration salt (ORS), which had also been stopped for long.
According to Subedi, the company has a target of producing 500,000 Cetamol tablets per week. The company used to produce 120 types of allopathic drugs before its shutdown.
Subedi also said that the company would be able to maintain cost effective only if the facility produced more medicines.
“We sell our products at a reasonable price in comparison to other brands available in the market,” Subedi said.
“The government has provided Rs 64.8 million credit for NDL,” Subedi said: “Despite the delay, construction work has not been halted.”