Controversy Around the Government's 15% General Sales Tax on Medicines

March 21, 2002. President Musharraf's government announces a 15% General Sales Tax (GST) on pharmaceuticals. The GST is levied as part of conditions attached to an IMF loan. Pakistani consumer groups and pharmacists are strongly opposed to the GST, and they launch a campaign to have it repealed. There are calls for strikes. On March 29, the government announces that it will repeal the tax for live-saving drugs, but advocates continue to work for the total repeal of the GDT. The best source of information on these developments is the Network for Consumer Protection.

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