By Our Reporter
Expanding its various business ventures under its welfare activities, the Nepal Army (NA) is now preparing to run pharmaceutical companies in the near future.
It was learnt that the NA officials were currently making necessary preparations to establish such companies to manufacture vital medicines within the country.
The NA that has been providing social services in different ways, especially during crisis, is now mulling over investing in profit-oriented businesses, which is also a worldwide practice.
Responding to a query from journalist weather the army leadership was aware of the concerns raised by patients visiting army’s medical facilities about sub-standard drugs being provided to them, a Brigadier General said such concerns will be resolved permanently once the army’s own pharmaceutical company starts operation.
The NA currently runs Birendra Military Hospital in Kathmandu, which provides services to military personnel and their dependants as well as civilians. It has recently brought a Military Hospital in Nepalgunj into operation and is planning to bring similar hospitals in Itahari (Sunsari) and Pokhara (Kaski) into operation soon as part of its efforts to decentralise health services being provided through the Welfare Directorate.
The NA has also been running Nepal Army Institute of Health Science, which has already started Master’s level programs in the permission from Nepal Medical Council.
Among various activities under its Welfare Fund, the NA has been running military schools in various parts of the country, including Bhaktapur, Pokhara, Dharan, Surkhet, Dhangadhi and Chitwan. The construction of army school in Bardibas (Mahottari) in Province 2 has already begun, it is learnt. These schools cater to the need of education of civilians on fee-basis.
The NA has started Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Training Center along with an Agriculture Training Center, in Beshishar (Lamjung) that runs PJTA and JTA classes under CTEVT affiliation and a Montessori school within the premise of the Ranger Regiment in Chhauni to provide education to the children of female soldiers.
The new business ventures of army under its Welfare Fund are in addition to various other ventures such as mineral water factory and oxygen plant the NA has been running for the past few years. It has also established an Emulsion Plant in Sunachuri (Makawanpur) that produces explosives.