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A year on, Assam Pharmacy Council still headless
RITURAJ BORTHAKUR
 GUWAHATI, Aug 21 - Nearly a year after elections to the Assam Pharmacy Council were held, the executive body of the statutory body is yet to be constituted, gravely affecting functioning of the important agency in a State known to have hundreds of fake pharmacists.

The Assam Pharmacy Council is a statutory body constituted by the Government of Assam under provisions of the Pharmacy Act 1948 to regulate the profession and practice of pharmacy in Assam. The primary function of the Assam Pharmacy Council is to grant registration and renewal thereof to the eligible candidate possessing requisite qualifications as per the provisions of Section 32(2) of the Pharmacy Act and to enforce the necessary provisions of the Pharmacy Act 1948.

Elections to the council were held last year in September after a gap of 30 years.

The council has fifteen members, of which six are elected, five nominated by the government, one a member of the State medical council and three ex-officio members.

Nine months after the elections to the six posts, the State government nominated the other members in May.

The first meeting of the new council was held at the Assam Administrative Staff College in May. During the election of the president of the council, there was a dispute between two sides. The matter was then referred to the government as per Section 24 of the Pharmacy Act, sources said.

“But till date the government has not responded to the matter, thus delaying formation of the new executive committee,” the sources said. The dispute was over voting powers of ex-officio members during election of the executive body.

The non-formation of the executive committee has hit the functioning of the council.

Sources said the council is unable to act against a few identified fake pharmacists as it requires approval from the executive committee. Problems are also being faced for disbursing salaries of the employees.

“After notification of constitution of the present council, the outgoing president has refused to sign in the cheques for salary of office staff, electricity bill, phone bill, etc. So it has become difficult to maintain the official works,” the registrar of the council said in a letter to the Principal Secretary (Health & Family Welfare).

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