Current Affairs – 2nd November, 2015

Daily Current affairs

Govt. forms committee to review drug pricing policy

The committee will look into the pricing of medicines, and specifically in the market based pricing formuStory image for drug pricing policy from Firstpostla.

  • The government has formed an inter-ministerial committee to review the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013, following the Supreme Court verdict this year that termed the drug pricing policy as irra
    tional and unreasonable.
  • According to sources, the committee will look into the drug pricing mechanism as there have been complaints that the companies are making significant profits which go up to few thousand per cent.
  • In July this year, while hearing the petition of NGO All India Drug Action Network, the Supreme Court had observed that the Centre was fixing maximum price of a medicine above the retail price of the leading company.
  • “You (Centre) are fixing the maximum price of a medicine above the retail price of the leading company of the same drug. It is absurd,” the bench had observed during the hearing.
  • One of the five issues to be considered by the government relates to NGO’s plea that MBP (Market Based Pricing) was never used for any price regulatory purposes and under the new policy, simple average ceiling prices were, in many cases, higher than the market leader price.

Citibank India appoints Sharad Mohan as retail bank head

  • Citibank India today appointed Sharad Mohan as retail bank head.
  • Sharad is responsible for the Retail Banking Business that comprises of Citi’s client segments, distribution channels including Branches and ATMs, and wealth management and transaction products including investments, insurance, and liabilities, the company said in a release.
  • In his previous position as head of sales & distribution, a role he held since May 2013, Sharad
    overlooked new client acquisition across all products in the consumer bank including cards, personal loans, mortgages as well as the liabilities accounts.

Cabinet secy-led committee to propel divestment; take up IDBI Bank stake sale proposal first

  • The government will soon set up a high-level committee headed by the cabinet secretary that will oversee strategic divestments, including the possible sale of the state’s holding in profit-making public sector companies.
  • The first proposal likely to be examined by the panel will be the sale of the government’s stake in IDBI BankBSE -0.41 % to convert it to a private bank.
  • After the disinvestment, the state’s stake in IDBI Bank could fall below 51% from 76.5% currently.

B K Bansal appointed member of CBEC

  • IRS officer Bhushan Kumar Bansal has been appointed as the sixth member of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), the apex body on indirect taxes, filling up the last vacancy on the board.
  • Bansal, a 1981 batch Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) officer, will have the rank of Special Secretary, an order issued by the Finance Ministry said.
  • The post had fallen vacant after Najib Shah took over as CBEC Chairman.
  • Bansal was hitherto Director General of National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics (NACEN), Faridabad. Prior to that, he was Chief Commissioner of Delhi customs.