Business & Economy Updates December 3-9 , 2009
Government is working towards bringing 23 anti-cancer medicines under the Drug (Price Control) Order to lower their prices. National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has been asked to look into demands for bringing 23 anti-cancer drugs within the ambit of price control. Draft National Pharmaceutical Policy 2006 proposes that the government would exempt all anti-cancer drugs from all types of central taxes, excise duty and import duty and pass on the benefit to consumers.
December 5, 2009: National List of Essential Medicines
Government is working on expanding the country’s National List of Essential Medicines, which was last revised in 2003. This is going to expand the ambit of price control in the Rs 60,000-crore domestic pharmaceutical industry to about 35 percent from the current 20 percent. The NLEM, first formulated in 1996, was modelled on the World Health Organisation’s essential medicines list. It was later revised once in 2003 to accommodate 71 new medicines. Three medicines were dropped from the list as well. Drugs Controller General of India has already requested the health ministry to constitute an expert committee to revise the NLEM list. The committee, which had finalised the current list in 2003, had suggested a review of NLEM list every two years to “keep its relevant in the context of contemporary knowledge and drugs that keep appearing on the horizon The plan is to include newer therapies and medicines to the list which currently has 354 medicines, broadly categorised within 27 therapeutic categories such as ophthalmological preparations, cardiovascular medicines, immunologicals, anti-allergic and so on.
New medicines will be added to the list on the recommendations of an expert committee that is being set up.
December 9, 2009: India’s first mega-watt level solar photovoltaic plant Inaugurated
MNRE Minister Farooq Abdullah inaugurated the country’s first mega-watt level solar photovoltaic plant at Jamuria, near Asansol in West Bengal.Accepting that there is no clear blueprint for his ministry’s plans for bringing solar power into the mainstay of India’s energy mix, he said that about 1,300 MW of solar power would be added over the next three years.
December 9, 2009: Britain Tightenes VISA Rules for Indian IT workers
Britain has tightened immigration rules from January 2010 for Indian IT professionals seeking to move to the UK under inter-company transfers. Now IT workers will need to have 12 months experience instead of six months as at present with their employer before they can be transferred to the UK. Besides immigration category will be closed as a route to permanent settlement in the UK. This means that IT professionals who go to the UK under inter-company transfer will not be allowed to settle there permanently even after the mandatory stay of five years. This is called Tier 2 category and it was prooving to be a loophole in Britains immigration system.
December 9, 2009: TCS & Cardiff council
Cardiff County Council is the governing body for Cardiff, one of the Principal Areas of Wales. The council consists of 75 councillors, representing 29 electoral wards. It has entered into a 15-year partnership with Tata Consultancy Services on a project aimed at making it easier for residents of the Welsh town to access council services. The council’s IT department will collaborate with TCS to integrate and rationalise its back office IT systems and also create a single service to centrally manage HR and payroll operations.