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Pakistan

SC directs govt to fix price of oxygen cylinders in two days

  • KP's Advocate General says suppliers are charging excessively for oxygen cylinders in absence of official rates
  • DRAP's lawyer says the Ministry of Industries and Production deals with the supply of medical oxygen and that the drug regulator has nothing to do with it
Published May 5, 2021

(Karachi) The Supreme Court has issued instructions to the Ministry of Industries and Production to fix the price of oxygen cylinders within two days, local media reported on Wednesday.

As per details, the top court issued the directives on a plea filed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. The court also sought an explanation from the ministry about the price-setting mechanism.

During arguments, the KP's Advocate General said suppliers are charging excessively for oxygen cylinders in absence of official rates.

Similarly, Additional Attorney General informed the bench that the Pakistan Steel Mills oxygen plant is nearly 40 years old. He added that it will cost Rs1 billion to make the plant functional. He told the court that a detailed report on the oxygen situation will be submitted.

Meanwhile, a Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) lawyer said the Ministry of Industries and Production deals with the supply of medical oxygen and that the drug regulator has nothing to do with it. He said that they can’t issue instructions as it does not fall under its jurisdiction.

Earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the oxygen plant at Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) could be made operational in three months with an amount of Rs1 billion.

Murad said that the Sindh government is ready to spend Rs1 billion for making the Steel Mill oxygen plant operational as the country, especially the province would need oxygen supplies in case of a surge in coronavirus cases.

The CM stated that improving oxygen supplies would enable the provincial government in ensuring the proper treatment of critical patients.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan said that the country's oxygen production capacity is being increased to support the health system and counter an increasing number of Covid-19 infections.

He said that Pakistan Steel Mills' (PSM) oxygen plant would be re-activated to meet the country's oxygen demand.

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