Federal Budget

ECC approves higher retail price for 49 new drugs

ECC approves higher retail price for 49 new drugs


Endorses Rs422bn as supplementary grants

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Monday increased the maximum retail prices of 49 new drugs, as the country is grappling with the consequences of rupee depreciation.

The reason cited by the government for the move is that these drugs are being introduced in Pakistan for the first time mostly at prices considerably lower than other countries in the region.

As Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chaired the meeting, the ECC also approved a supplementary grant of Rs402.251 billion for debt servicing to repay the Chinese and Saudi loans.

The move is a result of fluctuations in the exchange rate which was envisaged at Rs186 against the US dollar but the rupee depreciation increased meant there must be some adjustment.

Other decision taken by the cabinet committee include issuance of Government of Pakistan’s guarantee amounting to Rs9,500 million for the construction of Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway on build-operate-transfer basis and Rs12 billion for the National Disaster Management Authority to procure relief items to restock/replenish its reserves.

An amount of Rs839.129 million was also approved for New Gwadar International Airport and Rs700 million for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to meet the shortfall during the current fiscal year.

For the Ministry of Interior, Rs48 million were approved for HQ Frontier Corps (North) KP to construct FATA Levies Centre, Rs470.827 for the payment of troops cost/subsistence allowance to the personnel of Civil Armed Forces deployed in UN Peacekeeping Missions and Rs66.336 million for the construction of Frontier Constabulary Training Centre. The funds had been granted in aid to Pakistan by the United States for capacity building of the civil armed forces.

Moreover, the ECC also approved an amount of Rs347.99 million for the raising process of 6th Battalion of Pakistan Coast Guards for anti-smuggling purpose, Rs1,251.374 million for the FATA Temporary Displaced Persons Emergency Recovery Project (TDP-ERP) of NADRA to serve the vulnerable families affected by military operations, and Rs49.5 million for further disbursement of amount as financial assistance for the families of martyrs and injured persons of the Swat terrorism incident.

Some other approved supplementary grants are: Rs9,145 million the Power Division for 2×660 MW Coal-fired Power Project Jamshoro; Rs48.429 million for the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Rs1422.394 million for the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and Rs5,252 million for the Ministry of Defence to meet their respective ERE shortfall; and Rs110.653 million for the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) to strengthen the body within its current mandate.