Economy
Plan Panel to revisit health chapter in 12th Plan after furore

The lower allocation of 1.58% for the health sector goes against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's directions to the plan panel to raise resources in a way that public spending on health increases to 2.5% of GDP

 
New Delhi: The Planning Commission will revisit the draft health chapter of the 12th Plan after experts raised concerns over some of its proposals and the miserly allocation of 1.58% of GDP for the sector, reports PTI.
 
Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has given this assurance to health experts after they raised objections to the way some of its proposals were drafted in the Draft 12th Plan on health sector.
 
The Health and Family Welfare Ministry has separately flagged its concerns over the draft Plan to the Planning Commission and demanded a higher allocation for health sector.
 
Ahluwalia asked the experts, some of whom were part of its own expert group on universal health care, to give their suggestions by Monday and assured them that the same will be taken on board.
 
Sources say the Plan Panel has assured experts that the draft plan would be revisited and redrafted.
 
The lower allocation for the health sector goes against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's directions to the plan panel to raise resources in a way that public spending on health increases to 2.5% of GDP over the five years of the Plan period.
 
In the draft 12th Plan on health, to be finalized by August-end, the allocation for the sector has been proposed at 1.58% of GDP.
 
The proposal has met with stiff resistance from the expert group on universal health coverage which the Planning Commission itself had set up in 2010 to recommend ways to universalize public health delivery in India.
 
Chairman of the expert group K Srinath Reddy said they had met the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission and expressed concern over low allocations for the sector. He said the Commission had asked the experts to submit written suggestions for required changes in the draft chapter.
 
"The Commission has assured us that they would have a review and relook at the draft chapter on health and all our suggestions will be taken on board," Reddy said.
 
India's public spending on health as a proportion of GDP is among the lowest in the world. While Sri Lanka spends 1.8% of GDP, figures in China and Thailand are 2.3% and 3.3%, respectively. The corresponding figure for the US is in excess of 7% while European nations like the UK, Spain, Germany, Italy spend 6.5-8% of their GDP on healthcare.
 
Experts also fear privatisation of health sector according to certain provisions in the 12th Plan draft, which have been objected to and the Plan panel has assured them of redrafting the same.
 
The Commission has cited financial constraints as the reason for the lower allocation for health sector and clarified that privatisation of the sector is not its intention.
 
The Plan document recommends an increase in public expenditure on health from the present one% to 1.58% of GDP.
 
Another area of concern is that the document proposes that the central government's share in additional health expenditure would be less than half of what the states would contribute and that the Centre's contribution would be conditional to that of the states.
 

User

Environment Ministry says mobile towers affecting wildlife

In an advisory, the Environment Ministry has said that there is an 'urgent need' to refine the Indian standard on safe limits of exposure to electro-magnetic radiations

 

New Delhi: Environment Ministry feels radiation emitted by mobile towers has ill effects on wildlife, especially birds and bees, and has asked the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) not to permit such structures within one-km radius of each other, reports PTI.

 

In an advisory, the Ministry has said that there is an 'urgent need' to refine the Indian standard on safe limits of exposure to electro-magnetic radiations (EMR).

 

Till it is reformed, "a precautionary approach shall be preferred to minimise the exposure levels and adopt stricter norms possible, without compromising on optimum performance of the networks," it said.

 

It noted that the radiations could be having varying negative impact on wildlife, particularly birds and bees.

 

Accordingly, it asked the DoT to ensure that new mobile towers are not constructed within one-km radius of the existing ones "so as not to obstruct flight path of birds, and also not to increase the combined radiations from all towers" in the area.

 

"To prevent overlapping of high radiation fields, new towers should not be permitted within a radius of one kilometre of the existing towers. Sharing of passive infrastructure if made mandatory for Telecom Service Providers can minimise need of having additional towers," it said.

 

The Ministry asked the DoT that location and frequencies of cellphone towers and other towers emitting EMR, should be made available in public domain.

 

"This can be at city/district/village level. Location- wise GIS mapping of all cellphone towers should be maintained which would, inter alia, help in monitoring the population of birds and bees in and around the mobile towers and also in and/or around wildlife protection areas," the advisory said.

 

The advisory has been issued on the basis of an expert committee study on the possible impacts of communication towers on wildlife and bees. The panel was constituted by the Environment Ministry in 2010.

User

Sun Pharma Q1 net profit up 59% to Rs796 crore on strong US sales

During the first quarter, Sun Pharma's US formulations sales grew by 105% at $285 million, accounting for 57% of its total sales

 
New Delhi: Drug company Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd on Friday posted a rise of 58.8% in its consolidated net profit at Rs795.55 crore for the first quarter ended June 2012, on strong sales growth in the US market, reports PTI.
 
The company, which today announced a business re-organisation by putting its domestic formulation business under a wholly owned subsidiary, had posted a net profit of Rs501 crore during the same period of previous fiscal.
 
Net sales of the company rose to Rs2,658.14 crore for the first quarter ended June 2012, as compared to Rs1,635.72 crore during the same period of 2011-12 fiscal, Sun Pharm said in a statement.
 
"Over the years, we have focused on building a consistent, predictable and profitable business. The performance this quarter is once again a reflection of this strength," Sun Pharma Managing Director Dilip Shanghvi said.
 
During the quarter, the company's US formulations sales grew by 105% at $285 million, accounting for 57% of total sales.
 
The company said its board, which met today, declared an interim dividend of Rs4.25 per share for the year ended March 2012 in lieu of the dividend recommended by the board for the year ended March 2012.
 
"This interim dividend would be paid on or after 22 August  2012," the company said.
 
Sun Pharma's board also approved the move to put domestic formulations business under a wholly owned subsidiary of the company.
 
"The domestic formulations business will now operate within a wholly owned subsidiary of the company. This is with a view to enhance focus on the business and allow for quicker responses to competitive market conditions," the company said.
 
Shares of Sun Pharma today closed at Rs675.60 apiece on the BSE, down 0.2% from its previous close.
 

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)