ECC okays hike in prices of 20 drugs including Paracetamol

-Fixes price of Paracetamol plain tablet 500 mg at Rs2.67
-Approves revised circular debt management plan
-Technical supplementary grant of Rs450 million approved for Defence Ministry

By Ali Imran

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the federal cabinet on Friday gave its approval for in-creasing the prices of 20 medicines, including the rates of paracetamol.
The decision was made during the ECC meeting held with Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Moham-mad Ishaq Dar, a statement mentioned.
The ECC took up a summary of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination and allowed the fixation of maximum retail prices (MRPs) of 18 new drugs as recommended by the drug pricing committee (DPC).
The prices of these 18 new drugs are at the lowest as compared to the prices in neighbouring countries, especially in India, read the statement issued by the finance ministry.
The committee also considered another summary of the ministry on the maximum retail price of paracetamol prod-ucts and approved the recommendation of the DPC for an increase in the MRP of paracetamol products and the fixed price of paracetamol plain tablet 500mg at Rs2.67 and paracetamol extra tablet 500mg at Rs3.32.
The ECC also considered another summary of the ministry and approved the recommendation of DPC for a reduction in the maximum retail prices of 20 drugs.
The Ministry of Energy (Power Division) presented a summary of the refinancing of power holding limited’s debt and a surcharge to recover markup payments.
The ECC, after discussion, approved the proposal to recover Rs76 billion while exempting non-ToU domestic consum-ers having consumption of more than 300 units and private agriculture consumers in four months period from March 2023 to June 2023 to recover the markup charges of PHL loans and allowed to impose an additional surcharge of Rs1 per unit for FY 2023-24 to recover additional markup charges of Power Holding Limited (PHL) loans not covered through the already applicable FC surcharge. The above surcharges will be applicable to K-Electric consumers to maintain uniform tariffs across the country.

The ECC also deferred PHL’s principal instalments payable in respect of Rs283.287 billion for a period of two years from the date of execution of fresh facilities and directed the finance division to issue a government guarantee for repay-ment of principal as well as interest fees, etc, for the fresh facilities of Rs283.287 billion.

The ECC approved the proposals contained in another summary of the Ministry of Energy regarding the recovery of staggered fuel charges adjustment applicable for the months of August and September 2022.

The ECC deferred the electricity bills for the month of September 2022 for commercial consumers in the flood-affected areas till the next billing cycle and waived off electricity bills for the months of August and September 2022 for the non- ToU domestic consumers having more than 300 units consumption.

The ECC also approved an additional supplementary grant of Rs10.34 billion to cover the waiver of electricity bills in flood-affected areas.

The ECC also considered another summary of the Ministry of Energy and approved the revised circular debt manage-ment plan.

The ECC also approved in principle a technical supplementary grant of Rs450 million in favour of the Ministry of De-fence.