LAHORE-The Local Pharmaceutical Industry has brought the essential medicines available for the public at a very low price. It should be seen and supported as an industry of national interest because of its potential to export and fulfill the needs of the local market. These were the views of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Mian Tariq Misbah and Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry during a meeting with the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) delegation. The PPMA delegation was led by Chairman Tauqee-ul-Haq. Vice Chairman Mian Khalid Misbah-ur-Rehman, Khawaja Shahzaib Akram, Ahsan Awan, Zahid Saeed and Dr Qaiser Waheed were also present.

Mian Tariq Misbah said that a member from Pharma Industry will be included in the FBR Committee, adding that the sales tax on Pharmaceutical industry inputs should be abolished. He said the medicine prices should be determined by the Ministry of Commerce instead of Ministry of Health. He added that pharmaceutical sector have great potential of exports and should be granted same privileges as given to Textile, Leather, Sports and Surgical Goods, whereas they have not succeeded in achieving the required results. He said same privileges should be granted to Pharmaceutical sector to increase exports.

He said that presently due to crises of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API’s) (importing from India and China) government must establish plants in Pakistan for better future of pharmaceutical sector. He proposed that quality control and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) equipment have been imposed with high sales tax, advance tax and duties which needed to be abolished also. He also proposed that DRAP should issue clearance letter for the import of Quality Control and HPLC equipment for pharmaceutical sector. He stressed that consistency in policies should be adopted to avoid problems in various sectors, adding that the continuity is imperative for the long term investment. He also said that DRAP is causing delay in issuing licenses which is also hammering Pharmaceutical sector badly. He said that the local pharmaceutical industry is well established and catering the demands of the local market and can export the medicines.

He said that PPMA and LCCI have great liaison since many years and he is also very much attached with PPMA. He extended his full support to find solution of their problems. Tauqeer Ul Haq expressed his gratitude and said that PPMA strongly believes that LCCI will provide its full support in solving their issues. He informed that they are facing various problems from FBR and different ministries.