Volume 3 Issue 11 - June 01, 2005

VAT may dampen polio eradication programme

DNIS News Network - The newly introduced Value Addition Tax (V.A.T) has made Oral Polio Vaccines (O.P.V) manufactured in India more expensive, and this may force the United Nations to look for other sources for supply for its anti-polio drive in the country.

According to media reports, domestic pharma companies have called upon the government to exempt the O.P.V. from any taxes, as under United Nations Privileges and Immunities Act, 1947 all taxes are exempted on all goods purchased by any international organisation. Following the imposition of V.A.T from April this year, the vaccine attracts a tax of four per cent. Earlier the vaccine was exempted from any tax as it came under Schedule III, and is exempted under Delhi Sales Tax Act.

The Indian companies have been asserting that all medicines under programmes of the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) and National Health Programme should be tax-free, whether it is excise, customs, V.A.T, C.S.T or any other taxes.

The Pulse Polio Programme, which is part of the Global Polio Eradication initiative, is recognised worldwide as a model of public and private co-operation in pursuit of a great humanitarian goal. W.H.O’s Global Polio Eradication Initiative is the world’s most extensive public health initiative.

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