The Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) has threatened to shut down 600 factories in case the Finance Ministry does not approve its demands within the next five days starting from today.
Addressing a press conference, Chairman PPMA, Qazi Mansoor Dilawar, said that the PPMA categorically rejects the 17% sales tax imposed on active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used in the manufacturing of medicines.
At a time when prices of raw materials such as bottles, aluminum, and impulse glass along with electricity and gas rates were on the rise, the government imposed an exorbitant sales tax on the raw material of medicines.
The federal government had initially agreed to reimburse the amount collected under the sales tax to the drug manufacturers and asked the Finance Ministry to find an agreement with PPMA. However, the government has now refused to respect its word.
Chairman PPMA gave an ultimatum of five days to the government for reconsidering its decision by reimbursing the sales tax, adding that the strike will take effect after the deadline.
The development has caused panic among the citizens as they are expecting the prices of medicines to skyrocket due to the acute shortage of essential medicines that will be caused after the shutdown of pharmaceutical companies.