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The government lets drug prices go up by up to 20%.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the federal cabinet agreed on Friday to raise the prices of vital drugs by 20% for the second time in less than three months. This means that poor people will no longer be able to afford them because inflation is rising so fast.

A release from the Finance Division says that the decision was made at a meeting between the ECC and Senator Ishaq Dar, who is the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue.

On February 10, the ECC said that the prices of 20 drugs, including paracetamol, could go up.

“To make sure that drugs are always available on the market, the ECC gave manufacturers and importers a one-time permission to raise the prices of essential drugs by up to 70% of the CPI, with a cap of 14%, and the prices of all other drugs and low-cost drugs by up to 70% of the CPI, with a cap of 20%, based on the average CPI for the current year, which runs from July 1, 2022, to April 1, 2023. This was done on the condition that it

In response to the falling value of the rupee and rising costs, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination gave a summary of the suggestions of the Policy Board of DRAP to raise the maximum retail prices of drugs.

The ECC also told the Policy Board to look at the case again in three months, in July 2023, and tell the federal government that prices should go down if the rupee’s value goes up.

In the meantime, the ECC looked at and approved a summary from the Ministry of National Food Security and Research about setting wheat procurement goals for Sindh, Punjab, and Balochistan for the wheat crop of 2022–2023, as well as a cash credit limit.

I—The Government of Sindh set a purchasing goal of 1,400 MMT at a price of Rs 4,000/40 Kg.

Ii. The government of Punjab set a goal of buying 3,500 MMT at a price of Rs 3,900 per 40 kg.

Iii. The Government of Balochistan set an acquisition goal of 0.100 MMT at a price of Rs. 3900/40 Kg.

The ECC also looked at and approved Rs. 35 million in additional funds as a technical supplementary grant to the Ministry of Interior for the establishment of Passport Processing Centres (PPCs) at the Tehsil level in 30 administrative units across the country and the creation of 30 posts of MRP operational officers in the Department of Immigration and Passports, pending the approval of the Austerity Committee.

The Ministry of Aviation gave a summary of the problems and the reopening of the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. They also said that the New York City Government has given PIA Investment Limited (PIA-IL) the chance to use the hotel for migrant business for three years at US$200 per room per day.

After talking about it, the ECC agreed with the ministry’s suggestions and let the secretary of the Aviation Division form a four-person group to talk with the New York City government and the hotel union. The ECC also gave PIA-IL/RHC permission to use $1.145 million from the available balance as “bridge financing” to start getting the Hotel ready to reopen.