Wish-list: Pharma sector divided on excise duty relief

Mumbai: They speak in one voice when it comes to seeking tax sops for pharmaceutical research from the forthcoming Union Budget. But the estimated Rs 68,000-crore pharmaceutical industry is a divided house when it comes to the 16 per cent excise duty levied on drug companies that are not in designated tax-free zones.

“We are pushing hard to have excise duty halved. To have a level playing field for the several small and medium players who are losing out to the tax-free zones,” said Daara Patel of the Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA), a platform representing a large number of medium and small companies.

If the Centre is keen on making medicines affordable, it should cut excise duty on medicines, and the benefit would get passed on to the consumer, he added.
Until quite recently, a similar demand had in fact been made by the entire pharmaceutical industry.

But with no response from the Finance Ministry, several big pharmaceutical companies went on to set up one or more manufacturing facility in tax-free zones such as Baddi in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Sikkim. read more

Source : sify.com

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