‘Fix a formula to determine price of oxygen concentrators’

The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Centre if it can fix a formula to determine the MRP of oxygen concentrators which are being imported at huge numbers due to their demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rakha Palli said it was not asking the government to fix an exact price for the oxygen concentrators but to fix a principle on which they will be charged as people were being charged exorbitantly.

The High Court also said that there has to a ceiling on the price of the product which could be sold in the domestic market by the importers. “There has to be some limit to it. Tomorrow, some Chinese manufacturer will say he will sell it at a five-time rate, it cannot be allowed,” the court said.

“As a government, it is your responsibility that people are actually able to afford the product and not have to pay through their nose. They can’t be taken for a ride. Shortage of a product cannot be taken advantage of,” the High Court observed.

Central government counsel said the landed price is ultimately determined by the exporter. It was not possible for the government to fix the prices as there are different concentrators in the market with different prices, sizes and names, it said.

The Centre’s counsel, however, sought some time to obtain instructions and come back to the court with some answers by May 19.

During the hearing, the court permitted various private hospitals, which had sought immediate relief of oxygen supply to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients, to withdraw their pleas as the supplies have now been stabilised.

The court gave the decision after the hospitals informed that now they are getting medical oxygen supplies and if they have any issues, they will give representation to the Delhi government

Hospitals such as Maharaja Agrasen Hospital Trust, Bhagat Chandra Hospital, Jaipur Golden Hospital, Shanti Mukund Hospital, Venkateshwar Hospital, Batra Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Ganesh Das Chawla Charitable Trust and Bram Health Care Pvt Ltd. have withdrawn their pleas from the high court.

The High Court has been hearing a bunch of petitions with regard to availability of medical oxygen supply to hospitals since last month when the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic hit the Capital. It has since been passing directions on a daily basis on various others issues also including that of black-marketing of COVID drugs, oxygen cylinders and food and medical assistance to migrant workers and vaccination.

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 12:24:34 AM |

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