Protest against hike in advance tax Medical stores observe strike in Punjab cities

Amraiz Khan

On the call of All Pakistan Chemist and Druggist Association, medical stores in different cities of Punjab remained closed on Thursday in protest against one percent increase in advance tax, reiterating their stance to go on strike for an indefinite period from July 29 if their demands are not met.

In Faisalabad, almost all medical stores remained closed as the local chemists association has given a call for a one-day shutterdown strike on Thursday against one percent increase in advance tax.

Former president of pharmacists association Mian Tanveer warned of strike for an indefinite time from July 29.

Citizens on the other hand, faced difficulties in buying medicines because the city’s medical stores were closed due to the strike.

In Mandi Bahauddin, the medical stores owners observed strike on the appeal of All Pakistan Chemist and Druggist Association t protest against increase in advance tax over purchase of medicines.

The chemists association office-bearers were of the view that the increase in tax will add to the burden on the masses who are already groaning under the costly medicines.

They said the government move will also damage the pharma sector. Activists of the association also staged a demo and chanted anti-government slogans.

The Chemists and Druggists Association staged the protest outside Press Club Mandi Bahauddin and demanded to withdraw the increase in advance tax on the purchase of medicines.

The chemists association is not in favour of advance tax on purchase of medicines as it will further add to the hike in the price of medicines, which have already been out of reach of the poor segment of the society.

The association office-bearers regretted that implementation of advance tax will create a crisis in the supply of medicines. “Medicines are already 200% more expensive and this step will draw the last in the coffin of the medicine manufacturing sector”, they pointed out.

The protest was led by Chemist and Druggist Association President Sheikh Mumtaz Hussain, General Secretary Mian Rashid Aslam and Dr Tauseef Khan.

The chemists association in other main cities of Punjab including Multan Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Toba Tek Singh, Khanewal, Sahiwal, Rahim Yar Khan and DG Khan also observed strike to press the government accept their demand.

Rallies were taken out and demos were held to raise their voice against what they described as “unjust tax.”

They urged the government to take ground realities into account while devising tax policies and give special consideration to the welfare of the masses and industrial sector.

The closure of medical stores on the other hand caused multiple problems for the masses and they demanded the government to take some pity on them.

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