Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 24 (UNI) With a capacity to produce one billion condoms a year, the Peroorkada plant of the public sector Hindustan Latex Limited (HLL) has emerged as one of the largest single manufacturing plant in the world for production of condoms.
Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, who inaugurated the new Rs 24.70 crore unit with an added capacity of 283 million pieces to the plant's exisisting capacity, said the public sector unit with production facilities here and Belgaum with an annual production capciaty of 1.32 billion condoms already possessed ten per cent of the global share.
''The Central government will provide all assistance to the HLL to emerge as a major global player,'' he added.
He said HLL was entering into the field of manufacturing medical equipment and vaccine with the setting up of an unit on 500 acres of land at Chengalpattu, near Chennai.
''The cost of medical equipment can be brought down considerably once the plant becomes fully operational. Right now, we import 90 per cent of the medical equipment,'' he said.
The minister said the Union Government had decided to purchase 75 per cent of the requirement of contraceptives from HLL for another two years.
The HLL was also being asked to set up state-of-the-art diagnostic facilities in Central Government Health Service centres.
The project was being implemented on an experimental basis at Delhi, and if found successful, it would be replicated all over the country, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, HLL Chairman and Managing Director M Ayyappan said the company would commence shortly, the manufacturing and distribution of rapid diagnostic test kits for the detection of pregnancy in markets all over the country. At the first instance, HLL would manufacture and supply 22 million pregnancy test kits.
He said HLL's products reached over half a million retail outlets in the remotest corners of the country and its products were also exported to over 70 countries.
The HLL, a worldwide provider of contraceptives and health care products, in tie-up with international agencies, had achieved a turnover of Rs 244 crore during the last financial year and profit after tax of Rs 20.06 crore.