Govt extends capping of trade margin on oxygen concentrators till May 31

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The government has decided to continue capping the trade margin on oxygen concentrators till May 31, 2022. In an earlier order, dated June 3, the government had stated that the trade margin of oxygen concentrators would be capped at 70 per cent till November 30th, in order to keep in check the price of the critical life-saving component amid the second wave.

The Chemicals and Fertilisers Ministry had stated in the June notification that the decision has been taken in view of the extraordinary circumstances arising due to the pandemic which has resulted in volatility in Maximum Retail Prices (MRP) of oxygen concentrators. The ministry then capped the trade margin at 70 per cent on price to distributor level.

Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers Sadananda Gowda subsequently had added that the cap has been put in order to ensure the continued availability of oxygen concentrators at an affordable price.

The June order had then stated that the order, although applicable till November 30, is subject to review.

The ministry, in the release, had asked every retailer, dealer, hospital and institution to display a price list as furnished by the manufacturer, at a visible part of the business premises so that it is easily accessible.

“The manufacturers/importers not complying with the revised MRP after trade margin capping, shall be liable to deposit the overcharged amount along with interest at the rate of 15 per cent and penalty up to 100 per cent under the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 read with Essential Commodities Act, 1955,” it had directed.

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State Drug Controllers (SDCs) were asked to monitor the compliance of the order.

The order was passed after the country saw a significant spike in cases during the second wave of the pandemic in the country, resulting in an increase in demand for medical oxygen.