Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2017

हिंदी करंट अफेयर्स प्रश्नोत्तरी 2017 के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें.

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NPPA increases stent prices by around 2%

Drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has increased price of stents by around 2% after taking into account wholesale price index.

It will increase price of bare metal stents to Rs. 7,400 rupees from Rs. 7,260 and of drug-eluting stent to Rs. 30,180 rupees from Rs. 29,600.

What is coronary stent?
  • A coronary stent is a tube-shaped mediacal device placed in the arteries that supply blood to the heart.
  • It keeps the arteries open in the treatment of coronary heart diseases.
  • Bare-metal stent: It is a mesh-like tube of thin wire used in cardiac arteries was bare metal often made of 316L stainless steel. More recent stents (‘2nd generation’) use cobalt chromium alloy.
  • Drug-eluting stents: It is a peripheral or coronary stent placed into narrowed, diseased peripheral or coronary arteries that slowly releases a drug to block cell proliferation.
  • It is often preferred over bare-metal stents because the latter carry a higher risk of restenosis, the growth of tissue into the stent resulting in vessel narrowing.

coronary sten

Background

In July 2016, stents were included in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) and were added to the Schedule I of the Drug Prices Control Order, 2013, in December 2016, bringing the devices under price control. In February 2017, the NPPA had brought stents under price control and capped ceiling price of coronary stents. It was the first medical device to be brought under price control.

About National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)

  • NPPA is nodal government regulatory agency that controls the prices of pharmaceutical drugs in India. It functions under the aegis of Union Ministry of Chemical and Fertiliser.
  • It advices Union Government in matters relate to drug policies and pricing and revisions/changes in the drug policy. It also monitors availability of drugs, identify shortages, if any, and to take remedial steps.
  • NPPA decides the ceiling prices of essential medicines under The Drug (Prices Control) Order 2013.

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CCEA approves amendments in Mega Power Policy 2009

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved amendments in the Mega Power Policy, 2009 to push 31 GW stranded projects entailing an investment of Rs 1.5 lakh crore.

The initiative mainly aims at bringing down power tariff for making electricity more affordable and achieving the ambitious goal of 24X7 power for all.

Key Facts
  • The amendment extends the time period for the provisional Mega projects (25 projects), for furnishing the final Mega certificates to the Tax authorities to 120 months instead of 60 months from the date of import.
  • However, developers will be required to keep their Bank Guarantee (in lieu of duty exemption claimed) or Fixed Deposit Receipt (FDR) alive.
  • CCEA also approved 25 projects for Mega Policy benefits in proportion to long term PPA (Power Purchase Agreement), as permitted under the policy, once specified threshold capacity of project is commissioned.
  • However, the money realized by the developer, as a result of release of proportionate Bank Guarantee will first be utilized for repayment of the Bank dues by the developer.
  • Further a suitable mechanism will be worked in consultation with Department of Revenue (Finance Ministry) for operationalisation of release of proportionate Bank Guarantee.
Comment

This decision is expected to enable developers to competitively bid for PPAs in future. Once the developer commissions the specified threshold capacity, proportional mega benefits will facilitate easing out liquidity crunch with the banks/developers and improve the viability of their projects. Increased power availability will further boost country’s overall growth and also ensure that cost of power to the consumers does not increase.

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CCEA allows unrestricted export of all certified organic agricultural products

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved removal of all quantitative ceilings on individual organic products and allowed unrestricted exports of all organic and organic processed products.

The removal of quantitative ceilings will be irrespective of any existing or future restriction/prohibition on the export of their basic product (non-organic).

However, in respect of organic pulses and lentils, the quantitative ceiling on exports will continue but enhanced from the existing 10,000 MT per annum (MTPA) to 50,000 MTPA. in view of their acute shortage in the country.

Benefits
  • Removal of quantitative celling on wheat, non-basmati rice, organic sugar and increasing limit on export of organic pulses is expected to contribute to Government’s objective of doubling the farmers’ income by 2022.
  • It will lead to reduction in input costs in farming and aid farmer in gaining premium price for organic agriculture products.
  • It will also result in increased adoption of organic agriculture by farmers and complement various Government programs like National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NSAM), Organic Value Chain Development in North Eastern Region (OVCDNER) and Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) taken up to encourage organic agriculture.

Note: All organic products exports in the country are certified by Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Ministry of Commerce and Industry under the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP).

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