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Govt moots local pharma boost – Finance Minister Basil

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He made these observations when he participated in a function to issue to the market two locally manufactured pharmaceuticals by the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation at their premises on August 6. He was accompanied by State Ministers Professor Channa Jayasumana and Dr Nalaka Godahewa.

Tramadol which is a pain killer and Levothyroxine which is a treatment for lack of Thyroxine were the two drugs that were introduced to the market. About 9.8 million 50 mg capsules of Tramadol are used in Sri Lanka annually and about 98 million 50 mg tablets of Levothyroxine are used yearly as well. The amount that can be saved annually by halting the import of these two drugs will be Rs. 88 million.

Expressing his views further, the Minister said that there were large dues that had not been paid by the previous government to both public and private institutions and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who was the Finance Minister previously had made arrangements to settle those debts. Due to this initiative Rs. 1,945 million was paid to the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Minister Basil Rajapaksa pointed out that according to the manifesto of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the government is working towards building an economy prioritizing local production.

The Minister of Finance said further that the government intends to minimize the import of goods and increase local production to retain foreign exchange in the country and offer more job opportunities.

He said that as an initial step in this procedure, the import of 16 food items have been restricted and mentioned that it will be possible to achieve successful results through this. As much as arrangements were made to believe in local farmers and increase the standards of local produce, Minister Rajapaksa said that the government is launching a systematic procedure on behalf of the improvement of fields of manufacturing including pharmaceuticals.

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