Taxes on the pharma industry be abolished for public relief

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On Tuesday, former President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Dr Shahid Rasheed Butt, said medicines are becoming increasingly expensive and have gone out of the reach of the common person. Most of the population reeling under unprecedented inflation cannot get proper treatment due to the high price of medicines; he added in a statement issued today that taxes on the pharmaceutical industry should be abolished so that the people with eroded buying power can get affordable drugs.

He said that the depreciation of the rupee, inflation and the high price of utilities have harmed the pharma industry as well as other industries. Their business cost has greatly increased, which is being shifted to the masses.

The business leader said that almost every day, some essential medicine disappears from the market, which increases the public’s anxiety.

Shahid Rashid Butt said that since last July, the value of the rupee has decreased by 78%, fuel price has increased by 142% per litre, and electricity tariff has risen by 177%, affecting the public and the business community.

The overall cost of doing business for the industrial sector has increased by three hundred percent. In comparison, the sales of the pharma industry have decreased by twenty-three percent as people are compromising on healthcare.

He informed that 36 multinational pharma companies were working in Pakistan in the early 2000s and the number is now down to 22 and is set to decrease further if the situation is not improved.

To save this industry and give relief to the public, he demanded that all taxes levied on the raw materials, packing materials, electricity, gas etc., bills of the pharma industry are abolished.


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