Cabinet gives drug firms free hand to fix corona vaccine price

By: News Desk      Published: 05:33 PM, 9 Feb, 2021
Cabinet gives drug firms free hand to fix corona vaccine price
File photo.

The Federal Cabinet on Tuesday gave the drug companies a free hand to fix the price of Covid-19 vaccine on their own without any government regulation, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The cabinet allowed companies to set arbitrary prices of imported coronavirus vaccine and exempted companies from Drug Pricing Policy and Drug Act 1976.

The TV channel reported the cabinet ignored the criticism from various cabinet members on this issue. 

The members argued that no exemption should be given as they will charge high prices at the exploitation of the people and the government will have to face the criticism. 

The Cabinet members demanded that under paragraph 4 of the drug pricing policy, the federal government is bound to fix the price of the medicines. 

However, the cabinet allowed companies to set prices on the repetitive demand of the Health Ministry. 

Another important decision taken by the cabinet was that it gave approval to the agreement signed by the government with 46 independent power producers (IPPs). 

Under the agreement, the IPPs will be paid Rs403 billion whereas Rs161 billion will be paid immediately and the rest in six months. The new agreement with the IPPs will save Rs836 billion for the government in the next 15 years.

The federal cabinet also agreed in principle to increase the salaries of the protesting federal employees in Islamabad. 

The salaries of the protesting employees will be increased by 40 percent. During the cabinet meeting, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak presented a report on the issue. 

The cabinet also approved the establishment of 30 new accountability courts. The cabinet was briefed that the accountability courts will be operational in one month's time period.  

The cabinet also approved the installation of cameras for monitoring of 80 sugar mills and for that Rs350 million will be paid to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). 

The cabinet approved the appointment of Masroor Khan as Chairman OGRA.

The federal cabinet also approved a three months extension to Pakistan Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement.

The Cabinet members were also briefed on the Islamabad Airport Metro project and the prime minister has directed the Interior Minister to remove all the hurdles in the way of the project in one month.