Country's drugmakers have sought an exemption from all sorts of related duties and taxes on import of plastic items used in packaging exportable drugs, officials and industry insiders said.
Currently, the government imposes 127.72 per cent, 58.60 per cent and 127.72 per cent total tax incidence on import of HDPE/LDPE containers with or without child lock, sterile/aseptic PP/PVC bags, containers for infusion products and stoppers, lids, caps and other closures respectively, according to Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI).
The production prices are going to go up many times due to higher customs duty, supplementary duty, regulatory duty, value added tax, advance tax (AT) and advance income tax on import of plastic packaging products.
The pharmaceutical sector is being deprived of the desired incentive facility as the companies are unable to comply with the existing conditions.
Besides, overall shipment costs of medicines have doubled due to higher tariff rates on imported quality plastic products required for packaging exportable items.
BAPI has, however, requested the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to take the required steps in this regard.
Several pharmaceutical companies have already penetrated into some developed countries, including US, European Union, a BAPI letter reads.
The size of the domestic pharmaceutical market is now Tk 250 billion, according to BAPI.
Bangladesh's pharmaceutical industry meets 98 per cent of local demand and exports medicines to 151 countries, it mentioned.
The country earned US$135.79 million by selling locally-manufactured drugs in the international market, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
An NBR official said, "We are now working on the issue."