This is a follow-up of a previous mail containing a press release from Consumer Rights Commission of Pakistan (CRCP) condemning the imposition
of GST on medicines by the government. It is important to bring out here
that there existed a clear understanding between the government and the
CRCP that the government would not levy GST on drugs. In march 2000, the
Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz had assured that medicines would remain
exempt from GST. Now the government has backed out from its pledge, and
imposed GST on drugs.
The imposition of GST on medicines, which would result in 15% increase in drug prices would prove disastrous for the poor, since health care is
already unaffordable for them. The government is expected to earn Rs. 3
billion annually from it. The government should exercise some restraint
in this regard, and should not generate revenue at the cost of the
health of the poor people.
Therefore, CRCP has vowed to launch a campaign against it. CRCP has decided to make representations to the Ministries of Health and Finance
in order to put across its viewpoint. It is in this regard that CRCP
seeks your support and solidarity on the crucial issue. It is hoped that
you would join hands with CRCP for its withdrawal.