Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2022

  Aug 07, 2023

Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2022 and Changes to Drugs and Cosmetics Act

Q: What is the Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2022, and what does it aim to do?

A: The Jan Vishwas Bill, 2022, decriminalizes about 180 minor offenses across 42 central laws in various sectors, including pharma, media, agriculture, environment, and industry. It converts or "compounds" prison sentences into fines and penalties, providing businesses with more leniency for minor deviations.

Q: What has been the recent debate around the Bill, particularly concerning the Drugs and Cosmetics Act?

A: The recent debate has centered around the amendments made to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. Critics have expressed concerns about the compounding of offenses related to drugs that are 'not of standard quality' (NSQ).

Q: How does the Bill address the issue of 'not of standard quality' (NSQ) drugs?

A: The Bill takes a realistic view of minor deviations from NSQ norms by reviewing Section 27d of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. The imprisonment option still exists under Section 27d for NSQ lapses, but compounding is now an active option, which allows for fines and penalties instead of imprisonment for less serious lapses.

Q: What is the distinction in punishment the Bill aims to make?

A: The Bill aims to distinguish between serious offenses such as putting out fake and adulterated drugs, and minor lapses such as broken or chipped tablets, or those with labeling errors. The decision on whether a particular lapse under Section 27d is to be 'compounded' is left to the investigators, but clear guidelines are needed to ensure compliance and prevent malpractices.

Q: What does the National Drug Survey reveal about 'not of standard quality' (NSQ) drugs in India?

A: According to the National Drug Survey 2014-16, 3% of medicines were found to be NSQ at the retail level, and 10% at the government level. While the overall figure is low, certain medicines, like erythromycin and gentamicin, showed higher NSQ percentages. This highlights the importance of maintaining quality control in the pharma industry.

Q: How does the Jan Vishwas Bill contribute to a more secure business environment and quality control in the pharmaceutical sector?

A: The Bill's provisions allow for compounding of minor NSQ lapses, providing businesses with more breathing space while still holding them accountable. A liberalized business environment and robust quality control measures can now go hand in hand


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