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Doctors fear India could be at the Covid tipping point

With its densely packed cities and under-funded medical system, India has little margin for error .

Niti Aayog

30 March, 2020, 12:12 PM IST



Industry wants government to make this financial year a 15-month one due to Coronavirus

Industry experts point out that for all the companies last one month has hugely impacted cash flows and that has resulted in their mark to market. Extension of the financial year may spread the bad period over more months and could help companies recover a bit say experts.

PMO sets up high-level panels to deal with situation post lockdown; restore normalcy

The initiative is being viewed as pro-active step by the...

  • In a statement posted on Niti Aayog's website on Wednesday, the government appealed to retired government, Armed Forces Medical Services, public sector undertaking or a private doctor to come forward and join the efforts of the government to fight the deadly virus.

    The deadly virus, which originated in China in December last year, has spread to 155 countries, infected more than 180,000 people and claimed over 8,000 lives. The number of novel coronavirus cases in India rose to 151 on Wednesday after four more were reported from various parts of the country, according to the Health Ministry.

    An Ayushman Bharat beneficiary would be able to get himself tested for Covid-19 in any empanelled private hospital free of cost as per the NHA’s decision. In case a suspected Covid-19 patient has to be isolated in a private hospital, the isolation would also be covered under the scheme.

    Structural and cost disadvantages have held India back. Absence of local supply chains, high manufacturing and logistics costs, combined with financial and fiscal incentives provided by the likes of Vietnam, puts India at an extra 8-10% disability. To change this, a bespoke production-linked incentive for mobile manufacturing is needed.

    The proposal is likely to be put before the union cabinet tomorrow, people in the know told ET. Under the proposal, the government will provide financial incentive to those pharma companies ready to invest Rs 500 crore in an existing or new plant.

    According to Kumar, India needs to ramp up exports but global trade is not conducive. He attributed the domestic slowdown to legacy of dragging financial and real estate sector inherited by this government.

    Niti Aayog said, “The proposed minimum floor price are likely to disincentivise competition on cost efficiency, price, and quality parameters, and deter new entries and innovation.” The Centre’s policy think-tank further suggested that setting a floor price now could discourage new entrants riding on disruptive technology and “deprive customers of benefits” of competition.

    Former NITI Aayog vice chairman, Arvind Panagariya, lists the reason in his latest book.

    Sources told ET that the final draft of the Medical Devices (Safety, Effectiveness and Innovation) Bill, 2019, proposes that medical devices should be regulated by a separate division under the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).

    The high-level committee under NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar will suggest policy measures to liberalise the framework and make it attractive for private players, officials told ET. The proposed plan envisages complete mining rights to interested players while imposing a cap on royalty.

    Days after the Niti Aayog opposed the idea of fixing of a minimum tariff for telecom services, its chief executive Amitabh Kant has written separately to the sector regulator taking a stand that looked contrary to the views of the government think tank.

    "Four AAI airports -- Chandigarh, Mangaluru, Trivandrum and Lucknow -- have been adjudged the best in the world in recently announced 2019 ASQ awards. These airports won 10 awards in four categories," Airports Authority of India (AAI) said in a release on Monday.

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