Committees Current Affairs

Government constitute committee to make drugs more affordable

The Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers has constituted a committee of joint secretaries for ensuring enhanced affordability, availability and accessibility of drugs for the citizens.

The committee will suggest ways to make pricing policy in favour of poor patients.

Terms of reference of the committee

The committee will review the scope of Drugs (Price Control) Order 2013 (DPCO 2013) and suggest ways for strengthening the regulatory provisions of the order. It will also suggest ways to make DPCO 2013 more comprehensive in light of past experience of implementing the order.

It will also delve into making the existing mechanism for collection of market based data on prices of medicines more robust. It will also suggest ways for strengthening the existing pharmaceutical database management system.

It will also look at procedural improvements and process of re-engineering in National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to ensure better and quicker implementation of the government policy and bring greater transparency to reduce litigations and review petitions.

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Recommendations: Justice Srikrishna committee on Institutionalization of Arbitration Mechanism

A High Level Committee set up to review the Institutionalization of Arbitration Mechanism in India has submitted its report to the Union Law Ministry. It was headed by Justice (retired) BN Srikrishna.

The Union Government is committed for speedy resolution of commercial disputes and to make India an international hub of Arbitration. So government has decided to look into the recommendations and amended laws according to need.

Key Recommendations

Arbitration Promotion Council of India (APCI): The committee has recommended for setting up APCI, an autonomous body having representatives from all stakeholders for grading arbitral institutions in India. The APCI may recognize professional institutes providing for accreditation of arbitrators. It may be also empowered to hold training workshops and interact with law firms and law schools to train advocates with interest in arbitration and with a goal to create a specialist arbitration bar comprising of advocates dedicated to the field.

Specialist Arbitration Bench: It also recommended for creation of a specialist Arbitration Bench to deal with such Commercial disputes, in the domain of the Courts.

Changes in Arbitration and Conciliation Act: It has suggested in various changes inprovisions of the 2015 Amendments in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act with a view to make arbitration speedier and more efficacious and incorporate international best practices.

National Litigation Policy (NLP): The Committee also has opinion that the NLP must promote arbitration in Government Contracts.

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