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Action will be taken against violators of oxygen price capping orders, Govt tells Kerala HC

KC.Gopakumar Kochi | Updated on July 13, 2021

Private hospitals had appealed against price hike by supply agencies

 

The State government on Friday informed the Kerala High Court that stringent and timely action will be taken against the persons/companies, which violate the Government order against hike in the price of liquid oxygen as well the order of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) capping the price of medical oxygen.

The submission was made by the government counsel when a writ petition by the Kerala Private Hospitals Association against the hike in the medical oxygen came up for hearing before Justice V.G.Arun.

The government further submitted in a statement that the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority NPPA), on behalf of the Union Government had fixed the maximum price (ex-factory) excluding GST for liquid medical oxygen and oxygen inhalation cylinder (medicinal gas) at ₹15.22 and ₹25.71 respectively, as per an order dated September 25, 2020. The price included the transportation cost of liquid medical oxygen cylinder. These caps on the prices of liquid medical oxygen and oxygen inhalation cylinders (medicinal gas) had later been extended up to September 30, 2021.

The statement also said that as per an order issued on May 6, 2021, the State Government had prohibited black marketing or unaccounted sale, profiteering, and other unethical practices by hiking the price of life-saving medical oxygen during the times of its perceived scarcity.

The Association in its petition said that medical oxygen supply agencies had all of a sudden hiked the price of oxygen and started demanding reimbursement under the head of “Covid mitigating expenses” and “additional transportation and handling expenses”. At a time when the private hospitals were struggling to provide affordable quality care to Covid patients, the untimely hike in the price of medical oxygen was unlawful. It was nothing but black marketeering and unethical practice. The hike would hamper the uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen. it said.

Published on June 18, 2021

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