Closure, privatisation only options for govt drug firm

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 27:

With sales dwindling from Rs 114 million in 2000 to 65.9 million in 2003 there are only two options left for the only government- owned drug manufacturing company— closing down or privatising— says its recently-appointed general manager.

“Currently the company is in debt to the tune of Rs 270 million with an annual interest of about Rs 10 million,” said Guna Raj Bhatta, General Manager of RDL.

From the year 2000, its gross sales have decreased drastically from Rs 114 million to Rs 81.8 million to Rs 60 milion to Rs 65.9 million in years 2001, 2002, and 2003 respectively. Now the RDL has declared a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) for 134 employees starting July 15.

“We will have to pay one month’s salary for every year the employees seeking VRS have worked and on top of that they will also get regular pension,” said Bhatta. One hundred and forty-six employees have sought VRS, but the application of 12 of them, all security guards, are still under review, he added. RDL has 512 employees.”The VRS will cost RDL R two million once it comes into effect,” said Bhatta.