His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has affirmed the government's determination to apply the best means to organise the medicine sector in the UAE, thus providing reasonable prices that suit everyone, as well as benefiting all parties concerned in this sector.
This came during the cabinet meeting chaired by Sheikh Mohammed on Sunday at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, during which the new system was adopted to standardise pricing for imported medicines in the private sector in US dollars.
Present at the meeting were Lt.General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs .
The application of the new system will help provide medicine at low prices, cutting the cost of 6, 619 products from between one per cent to 40 per cent.
The new system also aims to standardise the prices with other GCC countries, as well as providing alternatives for medications for chronic diseases.
The new system has been introduced after a series of research studies and meetings with several concerned and proactive parties in the sector, with the goal of setting up a comprehensive system to standardise the prices for medications imported by the private sector, modifying the margin of profit for the agent and the pharmacy, thus putting an end to the fluctuation in medicine prices caused by changes in the values of foreign currencies.
The new rules also include a number of articles that will encourage pharmaceutical investments in the country.
The Cabinet recommended that ministers and the Ministry of Health take swift action on issuing the new price listing for the pharmaceutical products, with a period of three months starting from the day of the decision to align pharmaceuticals prices in the local market with the new system.
Emirates Transport budget
On another matter, the Cabinet approved on Sunday the 2013 budget for Emirates Transport, aiming to develop the financial strength of the company and increase its market value, in addition to guaranteeing the quality of its services.
It is expected that the income of Emirates Transport will reach Dh 1.4 billion in 2013 in accordance with its working budget, an increase of seven per cent, while net profit is expected to reach Dh110 million, an increase of 13 per cent.
The budget includes an allocation of Dh464.9 million for capital expenditure, of which Dh140 million is allocated for the provision of school buses in public schools . The remainder is allocated to transportation contracts for ministries and other government agencies and for the establishment and development of buildings and technical inspection centres, technical service and customer service centres and the provision of necessary technical equipment.
The budget draft also included a plan for the workforce, which is expected to reach 13,152 employees by the end of this year, an increase of 211 employees over last year.
The Cabinet also adopted the final accounts of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for the fiscal year ending 31st December 2011. The bureau's expenditure on approved programmes for that year was Dh 35,921,398 with revenues of Dh42,050,468.
The Cabinet approved a request from the Federal National Council to discuss the role of the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with regards to developing sport clubs and youth centres.
It also approved ratification of an agreement with Hungary of the avoidance of double taxation. This is expected also to increase partnership and cooperation with Hungary and to identify tax commitments.
Such agreements give the UAE several tax benefits in terms of federal governmental investments and local investments, in addition to the private sector investment. The agreement also gives the UAE full exemption from income tax for national airlines engaged in international transport and protects state investments in both public and private sectors from all forms of non-commercial risks such as nationalisation and confiscation.
Sheikh Mohammed receives four new ambassadors
Sheikh Mohammed also received at the Presidential Palace on Sunday the newly appointed ambassadors of Nigeria, Senegal, Austria and Romania.
Sheikh Mohammed welcomed Romanian ambassador Dr Adrian Macelaru, Nigerian ambassador Ibrahim Auwalu, Austria's ambassador Peter Elsner Mackay and Senegalese ambassador Babakr Bah, and assured them of the cooperation of authorities in the UAE.
He said that they will have all the necessary facilities which will enable them to do their job.
Sheikh Mohammed wished them good luck and pleasant stay in the UAE.
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