The government has agreed to keep the trade margins on oxygen concentrators capped until May 31, 2022. The government had specified in a previous directive dated June 3 that the trade margin of oxygen concentrators would be restricted at 70% until November 30th, in order to keep the price of the vital life-saving component under control during the second wave.
The decision was made in view of the extraordinary conditions arising due to the pandemic, which has resulted in volatility in Maximum Retail Prices (MRP) of oxygen concentrators, according to the Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministry’s June notification.
The ministry then set a 70 percent trading margin on price to distributor level.
Sadananda Gowda, the Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers, later added that the cap was put in place to ensure the continued availability of oxygen concentrators at a reasonable price.
The June order indicated that, while the injunction is in effect until November 30, it is subject to revision. According to the ministry’s press release, every retailer, dealer, hospital, and institution must post a price list provided by the manufacturer in a visible portion of the business premises where it can be easily accessed.
“Under the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 read with Essential Commodities Act, 1955, manufacturers/importers who do not comply with the revised MRP after trade margin capping shall be liable to deposit the overcharged amount along with interest at the rate of 15% and penalty up to 100%,” it had directed.
The order’s compliance was to be monitored by State Drug Controllers (SDCs).
The order was issued after the country experienced a large increase in cases during the second wave of the pandemic, resulting in an increase in the number of cases.
Source: Business Today
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