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Congress attacks centre over drug pricing

New Delhi: Congress Friday attacked the Narendra Modi government for "withdrawing" the order that enabled the drug pricing authority to cap prices of certain drugs.

The party alleged the step was taken under pressure of multi-national corporations before Modi's visit to the US.

Former union minister Srikant Jena said that the government had taken a decision just before Modi's visit to the US "to withdraw order which empowered NPPA (National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority) to fix prices of life-saving drugs under control".

He said: "I don't know whom the PM wants to satisfy before his US visit and you can imagine what is the interest behind this."

Asked about reasons for the move by the Modi government, he said "it is for the government to answer".

Jena said: "In my opinion, it is under tremendous pressure from the MNCs in the pharma sector so that they can play havoc in the Indian market."

Party leader Ajay Maken said that the the government's move may get Modi some good public relations and "earn the corporate houses undeserved profits" but the middle classes and the poor will be "left devastated".

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