Wednesday 20th, June 2018
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GST confusion: temporary shortage of some drugs

Published On : 11 Jul 2017   |  Reported By : Courtesy : DHNS   |  Pic On: Photo credit : DHNS

Bengaluru, (DHNS): There seems to be a temporary shortage of certain brands of medicines in pharmacies across Karnataka as chemists are yet to comply with the new norms of pricing under the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

“The majority of the retailers give written bills. Because of GST, we have to bifurcate them into different levels,” said Medhappa M P, vice-president, Bangalore Chemists and Druggists Association. The process whereby different medicines are taxed differently leads to confusion, and it will take sometime to fix the situation, he said. All shopkeepers tend to procure medicines whenever there is a change in the law, causing a temporary shortage, he added.

Pharmacists complain that the billing process has become complicated as old stocks of medicines should be billed under the GST pricing. “The medicines we purchased till June 30 have been taxed over and above the maximum retail price (MRP). So, we are seeking clarifications from the government on how to modify the prices as per GST,” Medhappa said.

Jeevan, the secretary of Karnataka Chemists and Druggists Association, said chemists had been given time till September for understanding the process. He insisted that customers will not suffer for lack of clarity.

A medical store owner in JP Nagar, who did not want to be named, said there was a temporary shortage of medicines and they were unable to fill the next stock.

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