New Delhi: At least 74 drugs, including life-saving ones used to treat cancer and HIV and haemophilia, will see a sharp rise in prices as the government has withdrawn customs duty exemption on their imports.
The withdrawal of exemption came last week, following a notice by the Central Board of Excise and Customs.
An increase has also been made in the customs duty rates of certain life-saving drugs.
KPMG India Partner and Head of Indirect Tax Sachin Menon told news agency PTI that the withdrawal of exemption is meant to boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make in India initiative. It also seems to be in line with the government's objective to rationalise duty exemptions, he added.
The subsequent rise in price will affect medicines used to treat kidney stones, chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer, life-threatening heart rhythm disorders, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, bone diseases, antibiotic to treat infections and haemophilia.
Besides, drugs used for bacterial infections, leukemia, anesthetic medication, HIV, allergies, arthritis, lupus, menopause, glaucoma, poisoning by a chemical or pesticide, growth failure in children and ulcerative colitis might also see spurt in prices.
"An increase has also been made in the customs duty rates of certain life-saving drugs such as Abciximab, anti-rabies immunoglobin, FSH, procarbazine and saquinavir to 35 per cent," Deloitte in India Senior Director MS Mani said.
"The withdrawal of exemption from basic customs duty for certain drugs, including life-saving drugs, is intended to provide protection to the domestic manufacturing industry and enhance the attractiveness of make in India initiative" said Mr Menon.
These changes signify the intention of the government to promote domestic manufacture of these items as imports would now become more expensive, Mr Mani said....