Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005

Port Info

Group Sites

Industry & Economy - Taxation
Government - Policy

AP Govt invokes ESMA on druggists

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , April 5

THE five-day strike by chemists and druggists in Andhra Pradesh took a serious turn on Tuesday with the State Government invoking ESMA (Essential Services Maintenance Act) and threatening to cancel the licences of druggists.

The Andhra Pradesh Chemists and Druggists Association too has taken a stubborn stand, stating that ESMA did not bother them and it was ready to surrender about 36,000 licences if the Government failed to implement single point VAT.

Meanwhile, the Punjagutta police arrested Dr Ghisulal Jain and Mr N.S. Sree Ramulu, President and General Secretary of the association, for forcing a medical shop to observe bandh near Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences.

Refusing to budge, the association announced that it would hold mass hunger strikes and dharnas. "We are also in touch with the all-India association to discuss the future course of action," Mr Vivek Jain, a Managing Committee member of the association, said. He hinted at a nation-wide token bandh by druggists in support of the strike. Meanwhile, the High Court asked the Government to get back to it on the measures initiated to deal with the druggists' strike.

The court was acting on petitions by the People for Effective and Economic Medicare and Mr Gopalakrishna Kalanidhi, an advocate.

A Division Bench comprising the acting Chief Justice Mr Bilal Nazki and Mr Justice G. Yethirajulyu said this was a serious situation and directed the Advocate General to report by Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference, Mr K. Ramakrishna, Minister for Commercial Taxes, said protection would be given to medical shop owners willing to sell medicines. "We will open outlets in Government hospitals to sell medicines," he said.

Mr Ramakrishna said the Bulk Drug Manufacturers Association had agreed to supply life saving drugs to the Government outlets.

At a separate press conference, Mr Vivek said the association had opened an emergency medicine point at King Koti. The association formed a task force to make medicines accessible to the needy. It also set up a helpline (23232348 and 55764037) in this regard.

Besides asking the Government to exclude medicines from VAT, the druggists were demanding that turnover tax (one of the VAT slabs) should be removed. "There should be a uniform implementation of VAT to ensure one-country one-price for any medicine," the druggists said.

One of the key demands was single point VAT. "VAT at single point will reduce prices by 4-5 per cent. Multi-point tax system will increase prices by 5-6 per cent."

Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication :: Printer Friendly Page

Stories in this Section
Contract research organisations join hands

Bank of Baroda hikes FCNR interest rates
SBT hikes NRI deposit rates
Union Bank raises rates
Govt keen on hiking FDI cap on insurance — Germany may review dumping duties on Indian goods
Cement majors report rise in despatches
Full Plan panel meet stresses need to raise tax/GDP ratios
Tenth Plan growth rate may miss target: Manmohan
`India must liberalise services regime'
NMCC report - a sneak preview: `India must leverage large buying for tech transfer'
Kerala must act quickly to rein in spending: Expert
`Public hearings' on pollution caused by pharma units today
Cut transaction costs: PHD Chamber
DD to air soap to increase AIDS awareness
Nigeria blacklists 11 Indian drug cos
`Patents Act will not lead to hike in drug prices'
Pharmexcil steps in for trouble-shooting
BHEL,TCS develop software for power stations
APGenco rules out power cut in summer
Central nod for power project in Kerala
VAT hits live chicken exports to Kerala
AP Govt invokes ESMA on druggists
Comptex meet to focus on global competitiveness
EU, US may clamp down on Chinese textile exports — Windfall likely for Indian cos
SECL to sell coal through e-auctions
Tune in
Maritime varsity to take shape this fiscal
New emission norms lead to shake-out in diesel car segment
GoM approves draft of Integrated Food Law
Leather footwear cos seek parity on tax treatment
Task force to seek funds for stem cell research
First mapping satellite to be launched in May
Film studio inaugurated at Hyderabad
Need to bring handicrafts under IPR highlighted
STEP for mainstreaming of tribal communities
Package ready for project affected families in AP
Nabard projects Rs 29,423 cr for priority sectors in AP
Edible oil imports seen rising 5 lakh t
`Enough forex reserves to meet crude import needs'
Pune tour planners reinvent travel idiom
Welcome signs in tourism sector: Minister

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2005, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line