Central Govt. allocates Rs 10 crore for 'CAR-e Keralam'

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Kochi, Sep 20 (UNI) In a major boost for the Confederation for Ayurvedic Renaissance Keralam Ltd. (CARe-Keralam), a joint venture between the Kerala Government and private players to boost export of Ayurvedic medicines, the Centre has allocated Rs ten core for the project.

Announcing this at a press conference here last evening, Kerala Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem said the union Department of Ayurveda Unani Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) had recently allocated the amount under its scheme for development of AYUSH Clusters.

The main objective of CARe-Keralam is to promote Kerala as a global destination for sourcing Ayurvedic products and services of internationally acceptable standards.

The consortium would be of particular help to small companies which would get access to quality control and raw material supply facilities by becoming members of the consortium, Mr Kareem said.

The drugs of all the consortium members, who numbered about 53 at present, would be certified by the laboratory and get the CARe-Keralam logo, he said.

Spurious and invalidated products, which were spoiling the reputation of Ayurveda, would be eliminated and standardised and certified drugs made available for the gloabl market.

Stating that the Kerala government was keen that the state should leverage its natural heritage of Ayurveda, the minister noted that the share of Ayurvedic medicines manufactured by companies in Kerala was very little in the national scenario.

As against Ayurvedic drugs worth Rs 4,000 crore manufactured in the country, Kerala's share was only about Rs 200 crore.

The minister said the total project cost of CARe-Keralam in the first phase was about Rs 17.88 crore. With AYUSH allocating Rs ten crore, the balance Rs 7.88 crore would be contributed by the state government and the private companies.

CARe-Keralam CMD and Coimbatore Arya Vaidyasala Chairman P R Krishnakumar said this was the first time in the country that a cluster approach was being adopted to promote Ayurveda.

Stating that there were about 900 registered manufacturers of Ayurveda medicines in Kerala, Mr Krishnakumar said more companies were slated to join the venture.

In the first phase, common facilities for raw material supply, a qua lity control lab, R &D facilities and product and process validation laboratory would be set up in a five acre area of land at the Kerala Infrastructure Development Corp. (KINFRA) Industries Park at Koratty in Thrissur district.

The laboratory, which would apply for accreditation by NABL, was scheduled to be completed in two years' time, CARe-Keralam CEO T Joy Verghes said.

The project had the potential to employ about 20,000 people.

UNI ARC SK1150

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