Socio-Economic Current Affairs - 2020

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Union Government allows pharmaceutical companies to hike rates of 509 essential medicines

Union government has allowed pharmaceutical companies to hike rates of 509 essential medicines by 3.84 per cent. The new prices will be effective from 1 April 2015.

In this regard, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has issued a notification under Drug Price Control Order (DPCO), 2013 in line with the wholesale price index of 2014.

These essential medicines are used for treating various ailments like hepatitis B and C, diabetes, and cancer.

Presently, Union government regulates prices of a total of 348 essential medicines based on the simple average of all medicines in a particular therapeutic segment with sales of more than 1 per cent.

Union government also regulates prices of all other medicines and pharma companies are allowed to hike prices of such drugs by only up to 10 per cent in a year.

DPCO, 2013 was notified by the Union government with an effect from May 2014. It has replaced the 1995 order that regulated prices of only 74 bulk drugs and covers 680 formulations.

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Union Cabinet approves release of additional installment of DA and DR

The Union Cabinet on 7 April 2015 gave its nod to release an additional installment of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners.

The approved additional installment of DA/DR is at the rate of six percent increase over the existing rate of 107 percent with effect from 1 January 2015. This decision is going to benefit 48 lakh government employees and 55 lakh pensioners.

Decision in this regard was taken in Union meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in accordance with the accepted formula based on the recommendations of the 6th Central Pay Commission.

With this Central Government employees as well as pensioners are entitled for DA/DR at the rate of 113 percent of the basic pay with effect from 1 January 2015.

This decision will have combined impact on the exchequer on account of both DA and DR will be of the order of 6762.24 crore rupees per annum and 7889.34 crore rupees in the Financial Year 2015-16. FY 2015-16 will be for a period of 14 months from January 2015 to February 2016.

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