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KAPL disinvestment may not happen. Know why

The proposed disinvestment of KAPL depends on a Supreme Court ruling, Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda said
New Delhi: The proposed disinvestment of KAPL (Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Ltd) depends on a Supreme Court ruling, Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda said on Tuesday. The statement provides credence to the reports that have been doing the rounds off late, casting doubts on the disinvestment plan for KAPL as the government has designated the PSU to be the only manufacturer and supplier of life-saving drug Oxytocin.

Why is the KAPL disinvestment plan under a cloud now?

At the heart of the matter is the government’s decision to restrict the production of Oxytocin to a single public sector undertaking — KAPL. The Supreme Court is hearing a case to decide on whether it would be in public interest to impose a ban on private companies to manufacture the controversial but life-saving drug Oxytocin.

The importance of Oxytocin

Oxytocin is included as a lifesaving drug in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). It is a uterine stimulant hormone, prescribed for the initiation of uterine contractions and induction of labour in pregnant women, as well as stimulation of contractions during labour. It is also used to help abort the foetus in cases of incomplete abortion or miscarriage, and to control bleeding after childbirth. It may be used for breast engorgement. However, the drug is also used widely in the dairy industry, agriculture and horticulture to boost production.

What did Gowda say?

Responding to a question in the Lok Sabha, Gowda said, “In case of KAPL, it has been assigned the responsibility of being the sole manufacturer and distributor of Oxytocin in the country. It has been decided that the decision of disinvestment will not materialize if the government scheme of manufacturing Oxytocin through public sector receives a confirmation from the higher court.”