New pharma policy may fix drug trade margins

download (10).jpgSource: Business Standard, Aug 17, 2017

New Delhi: In an attempt to make drugs affordable to all, the government has planned a fresh pharmaceutical policy. The policy draft says that the government will fix trade margins for drugs as well. At present, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is in the process of fixing trade margins for a number of medical devices like orthopedic knee implants and cardiac stents.

According to the draft, which Business Standard reviewed, “The issue of unreasonable trade margins and bonus offers by various stockists, distributors and retailers has been adversely affecting both the industry as well as consumer interest. After detailed stakeholder consultations, the level of trade margins will be prescribed to create a level playing field for the industry and to bring down the prices.” It also states that institutions that procure directly from manufacturers will also be subject to this regulation.

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Cabinet clears metro rail policy

images.jpgSource: Business Standard, Aug 17, 2017

New Delhi: The central government has cleared a new mechanism to hasten privatisation of state-owned companies. This system is meant for strategic disinvestment, as opposed to minority stake sales in public sector units, public offers of equity and the like.

Among other major decisions by the Cabinet and the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday, a nationwide policy for metro rail transportation was approved. Future projects are to be tendered while keeping in mind their social and economic impact, not only the estimated financial return.

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Cabinet approves MoU between India, Sweden on IPR

Source: Business Standard, Aug 16, 2017

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared MoU signed between India and Sweden on intellectual property right (IPR) cooperation, aimed at benefiting entrepreneurs, investors and businesses.

The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the memorandum of understanding (MoU), an official statement said.

This will enable India to exchange experiences in innovation and IP ecosystems.

“The MoU establishes a wide-ranging and flexible mechanism through which both countries can exchange best practices and work together on training programmes and technical exchanges to raise awareness on IPRs and better protect intellectual property rights,” the statement read.

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More teeth to maritime sector as govt approves Rs 32,000 cr for Coast Guard

Source: Business Standard, Aug 16, 2017

New Delhi: The Centre has approved a nearly Rs 32,000 crore plan for the Coast Guard that will give more teeth to the maritime security agency in maintaining vigil on coastal waters, defence sources said.

The action plan to give a boost to the Coast Guard in terms of infrastructure and equipment like offshore patrol vessels, interceptor boats, helicopters, aircraft and critical operational infrastructure was cleared at a meeting chaired by Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra earlier this month.

The Coast Guard, a critical arm of the defence forces and whose role has become more crucial after the 26/11 attacks, protects India’s maritime interests and enforces maritime law, with jurisdiction over the territorial waters of India, including its Exclusive Economic zone (EEZ).

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Government to aid mega food parks for two years

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 16, 2017

CHANDIGARH: The Central government will support farmers and entrepreneurs who invest in mega food parks in Punjab for two years from the time their projects are launched.

The farmers of Punjab must avail the maximum benefits from the Rs 6,000 crore allocated by the Prime Minister to boost the food processing industry, Union minister for food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal told a gathering of farmers at a function in Amritsar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the ministry on Wednesday.

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Cabinet approves CGST refund scheme

download (9).jpgSource: The Economic Times, Aug 17, 2017

NEW DELHI: The government has approved a new metro rail policy, a scheme to refund central goods and services tax ( CGST) to industrial units in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir and the North-East ctill 2027, and changes to strategic disinvestment policy to speed up decision-making. The cabinet cleared the CGST refund scheme with a budgetary allocation of Rs 27,413 crore, which will come as a big relief to sectors like pharma, automobiles, FMCG.

These units, which hitherto enjoyed exemption from central excise for 10 years, will get a refund of 58 per cent of CGST. “Within the framework of the GST Act, each industry will be entitled to its own refund mechanism during this particular period (until March 31, 2027),” finance minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the meeting of the cabinet that was presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. Under the new GST regime rolled out on July 1, there is no provision for exemptions. Central or state governments, however, are empowered to refund their portion of tax.

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Major Bills to reform labour, financial sector laws introduced in Lok Sabha

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Aug 10, 2017

New Delhi: Two critical Bills — one consolidating the labour laws around wages and the other introducing specialised resolution process for failing financial services providers — were introduced in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

Besides seeking to amalgamate, simplify and rationalise four central labour enactments relating to wages, the ‘The Code on Wages Bill 2017’ would also widen the scope of minimum wages to all workers (including those in the unorganised sector), Union Labour Minister Bandaru

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