Intellectual Thoughts by Sanjay Panda: August 2013

Economies are faltering

A slowing down in growth rate, A record high current-account deficit. A weakening currency.  A spike in inflation.  A fall in the stock market, An increase in  job losses (right sizing or is it down sizing ) in  all most all the sectors. This is  a  phenomena happening in India”s  current economic scenario.  The economy is  worsening  day by day.

The same recipe that is creating India’s worst economic crisis in decades is now afflicting  few other  economies as well.   Indonesia  Consumer prices jumped 8.6 percent last month, the current-account deficit had hit  4.4 percent of Indonesian GDP.  Thailand  GDP contracted 0.3 percent in the second quarter compared with the first three months of the year. That’s the second quarterly contraction in a row for Thailand, which  confirms that Thailand is now   falling into recession.

A fierce selloff in many  economies ( Emerging /RDE) currencies shows no sign of abating as the expected withdrawal of US monetary stimulus prompts investors to shun markets seen as riskier because of funding deficits, slowing economies and  rising inflation. A decline in the Fed's bond purchases will push government debt yields higher, which should raise the attractiveness of the dollar and dollar-denominated assets. In many of these economies,  it has been hammered by doubts over the efficacy of policy actions to stem the rout.

In India, the rupee's sell-off threatens to drive Asia's third-largest economy towards a full-blown crisis. While the Indian government and central bank have unveiled measures ( though not enough) to support the rupee, investors are unimpressed. Bolder structural reforms, including greater fuel price liberalization, land acquisition reforms, and higher foreign investment limits in  retail, insurance,  and  few other industry are crucial to regain investor confidence and shore up the rupee else we are slowly approaching the early 1990’s.


The new Drug Pricing. Battle Escalates !

Several pharma  companies  & Industry bodies like Indian Drug Manufacturers Association, Confederation of Indian Pharmaceutical Industry (CIPI)  already moved  to Court  and  few more expected join, to challenge the government's new drug pricing order that asked them to slash prices of 348 medicines and also  replace stocks in the market with those carrying reduced prices within 45 days of new price notification. 
The DCPO had ordered  earlier for reduction of prices of some medicines within 45 days of issuance of the  notification and that the decreased prices be made effective on drugs already in market.The deadline for  implementation of the notification ended on July 29.

Earlier  Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance,  estimated that with the application of the new price fixation methodology on a completely new set of medicines may see the Rs 100,000-crore industry losing about Rs 2,500 crore in revenues in the near term. Market intelligence firm AIOCD-AWACS estimates that the new price control system may hit the domestic revenues of majors Ranbaxy and Cipla by 6.2 and 5.8 per cent, respectively. 
Prices of 348 medicines, including life saving drugs are set to be cheaper by up to 80 per cent as the new Drug Price Control Order has come into effect.