ECC approves 21% hike in rates of cardiac stents
The government on Monday approved up to 21% increase in the prices of lifesaving cardiac stents and also sanctioned Rs8.4 billion additional budget for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - the two decisions that reflect the adverse impacts of steep currency devaluation.
The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet approved the increase in the prices of cardiac stents due to devaluation of the rupee against the dollar.
The new prices will take effect once the federal cabinet endorses the ECC’s decision.
Headed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, the ECC approved a summary of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination regarding fixation of maximum retail prices of four new cardiac stents recommended by the National Price Fixation Committee for lifesaving medical devices, according to the finance ministry.
The ECC approved the increase in the price of Promus PREMIER stent manufactured by Boston Scientific by nearly 21% to Rs58,764 - up from Rs48,667 average price.
The Ulamaster by Japan’s Terumo will be sold at a minimum price of Rs65,507 after an increase of 15% in its average price.
The new price of DESyne X2 manufactured by the USA’s Exlixir Medical corporation will be Rs72,450 with a 20.7% increase in its rate.
Similarly, the Cre8 Amphilimus manufactured by CID of Turkey and Italy also got a 20.7% increase in its price and the new rate will be Rs53,130.
The ECC was informed that at the time of confirmation of these four stents on Oct 14, the prevailing rupee-dollar parity was Rs218.43 and since the rupee has devalued by 19%.
This increase will also be applicable on MRPs of 15 cardiac stents notified earlier in August 2022 as well as for the prices of four new cardiac stents.
Read ECC approves Rs285m as compensation
It was further decided that impact of devaluation of rupee may be considered after one month.
In a bid to offset the impact of the rupee devaluation on Pakistan’s foreign missions, the ECC approved Rs8.4 billion supplementary grant in favour of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to meet its shortfall in the annual budget for the current financial year 2022-2023.
After the fresh approval, the budget of the ministry will jump to Rs35.8 billion for the current fiscal year. The original budget estimates were based on an exchange rate of Rs186 to a dollar.
The ECC approved Rs13.2 billion supplementary grant for the Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company Limited (PMRCL) equivalent to $50 million to be obtained from the World Bank as the first tranche of credit line of $85 million.
The PMRC has been set up as a joint initiative between Pakistan and commercial banks and development finance institutions (DFIs) with the support of the WB to provide medium- and long-term funding to primary mortgage lenders by raising funds from the capital debt market at cheaper rates.
The WB provided $225 million loan to the PMRC at a concessional rate of 3%. In order to release the $50 million loan tranche, Rs14.2 billion local rupee cover was needed but only Rs1 billion had been allocated in the budget.
The ECC also approved a rupee cover of Rs7.84 billion against an amount of $33.1 million for the WB funded Financial Inclusion and Infrastructure Project (FIIP) project.
It approved Rs5 billion grant for the erstwhile Fata area projects. The Ministry of Planning had approved additional allocation of Rs5 billion under the 10-year development plan, which will be utilised for solar and tube-well schemes in areas recommended by the coalition government parties.