Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme 2: Centre likely to initiate penalty settlement for pharma firms
There could soon be a breather for both the government and the pharmaceutical companies under the proposed Vivaad Se Vishwas 2 scheme announced in the Union budget 2023.
According to sources, the government is soon likely to initiate to settle their long-pending disputes arising out of penalties that were levied by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority on pharma majors for over-pricing of essential drugs.
On February 1, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her Budget speech announced the Vivad Se Vishwas 2 scheme, proposing to settle contractual disputes of government and government undertakings where an arbitral award is under challenge in a court, a voluntary settlement scheme with standardised terms will be introduced.
The scheme is aimed at reducing government litigation.
“Once pharma companies opt for settlement under this scheme, the government can unlock around Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 6,000 crore,” sources added.
It is noteworthy that the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) had initiated penalty cases against some pharmaceutical companies for prescribing higher medicine prices, despite these being under the essential category and there being a price cap thus, these cases were hanging in for quite a long time.
It was in 2021, when government had initiated to settle these pending disputes with pharma majors under a one-time settlement scheme but, the government could not notify the norms under the then proposed scheme.