The Reserve Bank of India has ramped up its movement against counterfeit currency with launching a website explaining ways to detect fake notes. With a tagline ‘Pehchano Paise Ki Boli, Kyunki Paisa Bolta Hai’, the website- www.paisaboltahai.rbi.org.in- gives visual presentation with pointers on currency notes of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 rupee denominations. Consumers have the option to download posters of these currency notes, which can be used as reference to identify counterfeit notes. A documentary film on it can also be downloaded. The link for this website is available on RBI’s main website as well. The site also gives details of the number of fake currency notes detected. In the site’s FAQ (frequently asked question) section, RBI has given ways to deal with fake notes, if someone gets it. “The bank will impound the counterfeit note in the presence of the tenderer. The bank will also issue an acknowledgement to the tenderer. “The receipt is authenticated by the cashier as well as by the tenderer. The acknowledgement is issued even in cases where the tenderer is unwilling to countersign it The bank will thereafter forward the impounded note to the local police authorities for further necessary action.” RBI said considering there were 64,577 million pieces of banknotes in circulation as on March 31, 2011, the detection of forged notes during 2010-11 was to the tune of 6.74 pieces per million pieces of banknotes in circulation. In the past as well, the Reserve Bank has come out with various notifications warning against circulation of counterfeit currency notes. Referring to the fake currency notes in circulation, RBI Governor D Subbarao had said that the government and police are taking several measures to deal with the menace. He emphasised the need to educate people on ways to distinguish fake currency notes from the genuine ones. RBI also said that it is working on launching plastic currency and will soon launch a pilot project for the same. “Counterfeiting of plastic notes is very difficult. So we are planning to launch some plastic money on pilot basis in 4-5 centres. Like Jaipur, Shimla, Bhubaneshwar and other centres. We are working on it,” RBI Deputy Governor H R Khan said at an event in New Delhi. Under the pilot project for issue of plastic currency notes, notes of Rs 10 denomination would be distributed through the central bank’s five regional offices. The proposed shift to plastic currency notes, instead of the normal paper notes, is primarily aimed at checking the counterfeiting as also high cost associated with printing of paper currency, as they need early replacement due to soiling and mutilation. These notes would have an average life span of 5 years compared to one year for the currency notes, and also these notes are cleaner than paper notes and it would be difficult to counterfeit the currency.
Pharma Firms sell common Drugs at 10 times the Cost
Leading pharma companies, including GlaxoSmithkline, Pfizer and Ranbaxy, sell commonly used drugs at a rate 10 times the cost of production, a study by the Corporate Affairs Ministry has found. A study by the Cost Audit branch of the MCA found drugs like Calpol manufactured by Glaxosmithkline, Corex Cough Syrup by Pfizer, Revital by Ranbaxy Global, Omez by Dr Reddy’s Labs, Azithral by Alembic and several others were being sold at a mark up to 1,123 per cent over the cost of production. Worried over the findings of the study, Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily has written to the ministers of Chemical and Fertilizers M K Alagiri and Health Ghulam Nabi Azad seeking appropriate action on curbing this practice of pharma companies. He has forwarded a copy of the study to the two ministers. The MCA study covered medicines manufactured/marketed by Ranbaxy, Dr Reddy’s Lab, Wyeth, FDC, Alembic, Glaxomithkline, Pfizer, USV, ELder Pharma, Zydus Cadila, Wochardt and Cipla. According to the ‘suo moto’ study, the mark up (MAPE) on cost of production range from 203 per cent to 1,123 per cent against 100 per cent allowed by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) in case of scheduled drugs. It said the profit margins were “exorbitantly high” even in cases of top selling brands like Amlodopine, metformin, ciprofloxacin and Azithromycin. Also, cost of production differs significantly between manufacturers and there was significant variance in retail price between different brands of same high selling molecules. “This practice of fixing maximum retail price (MRP) to exorbitant high (even 1,000 per cent of cost of production), gives a chance to the whole chain of distributors/ whole sellers and retailers to dupe the unaware consumers. This is highly detrimental to the interest of the consumers forcing them to pay the MRP even 10 times of the cost of medicine they are procuring,” it said. As per the findings that studied 21 formulations of big drug manufacturers, the mark up of maximum retail price (MRP) over cost of production (CoP) was the highest at 1,123 per cent in case of GlaxoSmithkline for its Tab Zyloric, followed by Ranbaxy (858.09 per cent) for Cap revital, Zydus (752.85 per cent) for Cap Ocid, USV (746.47 per cent) for Gyclomet.
Dr. M Veerappa Moily, Union Minister for Corporate Affairs
D. Subbarao, RBI Governor