Pharma industry demands withdrawal of sales tax

The Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) is ready to provide direct funding to research projects being carried out by the pharmaceutical industry in collaboration with Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).

These remarks were said by PSF Chairman Dr Shahid Mehmood Baig while addressing representatives of local pharmaceutical industries at the ICCI.

He said that there was a dire need to bridge the gap between the academia and industries, adding that the consultative meeting between the PSF and the representatives of local pharma industry was part of efforts to strengthen academia-industry linkages.

Dr Shahid said that pharma industries should send their research projects through the ICCI to the PSF for funding that would be considered on merit.

He said that PSF was also ready to work with the pharma industry on a public-private partnership model to promote research projects in order to resolve its major issues and facilitate its better growth.

Speaking at the occasion, ICCI President Muhammad Shakeel Munir appreciated the PSF for providing funding for research projects in various fields of science and technology.

He urged the government to accord top priority to science and technology as its role was crucial in resolving the industrial, economic, social and environmental issues of the country and put it on the path of sustainable growth.

He said that the universities, R&D institutions and industry should join hands to resolve key issues facing the country’s economy. He said that the ICCI was ready to work with the PSF to address key issues of local industries of various sectors that would help them produce value-added products and improve exports.

Nasir Qureshi, convener, ICCI Pharmaceutical Committee, said that the Pakistan pharma industry had grown from 30 companies to 850 companies due to which Pakistan had become self-sufficient in medicines.

However, he urged the government to cooperate with the pharma industry and get registered with the US Food and Drug Administration that would enable it to further boost the export of pharmaceutical products around the world.

ICCI senior Vice President Jamshaid Akhtar Sheikh Zahid Maqbool, Naeem Siddiqui and representatives of pharma companies also spoke on the occasion and highlighted issues that needed the attention of the PSF and the government. They said that the government should withdraw sales tax on the pharma industry to save it from further troubles.