Andhra reinstates Jitender Sharma as AMTZ MD

Amaravati, Nov 29 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh government has reinstated Jitender Sharma as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Andhra Pradesh Med Tech Zone (AMTZ).

The state government issued an order, re-appointing pending the enquiry against him.

According to the Government Order (GO) issued by Industry, Infrastructure, Investment and Commerce Department, this has been done ‘keeping in view the criticality of the project for the state and the public interest’.

The official was removed after Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government took over in May following the electoral defeat of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) headed by N. Chandrababu Naidu.

An order removing Sharma mentioned that his name had cropped up in a series of complaints on certain irregularities in the procurement of civil works and equipment in setting up of Med Tech Zone in Visakhapatnam.

However, many believed Sharma became a victim in power game following the change of guard.

Sharma’s reinstatement followed an appeal by the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AIMED) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan in September to look into his sudden removal.

Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator of AIMED, had urged the government to make use of the services of the “very talented” Dr. Sharma, who is also called the “Medtech Man of India”.

According to Nath, Sharma has played a key role in putting Andhra Pradesh on the global map as a hub for manufacturing medical devices, and his sudden removal is a major setback for the Indian medical device industry.

It was in 2016 that then TDP government had appointed Sharma as MD and CEO of AMTZ that was proposed to have in-house high investment scientific facilities to help manufacturers reduce the cost of manufacturing.

This was claimed to be the first of its kind project in Asia, aimed to flourish as a hub of medical device manufacturing, putting India on the global map of high end medical equipment production and make health care products affordable and accessible.

AIMED noted that Sharma founded AMTZ from “concept to completion and progress” and that his ‘team accomplished the impossible jaw-dropping feat of creating a Med Tech Park on barren land in less than a year.’

“So much so that even the Global Medical Community along with WHO congregated to Vizag to join forces with Dr. Sharma and his team,” it had said.

Prior to his appointment as MD of AMTZ, Sharma was the head of health technology department at NHSRC under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India and the advisor, health & medical technology to Government of Andhra Pradesh.

He had earlier served as hospital administrator at Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s Hospital in Andhra Pradesh. He is known for leading several projects and health technology and research studies in leading institutions from AIIMS New Delhi to WHO- Switzerland.

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