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Chemists begin indefinite strike

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Ranchi, Apr 17: The chemists and druggists began an indefinite strike since mid-night last night throughout Jharkhand demanding simplification of Value Add Tax (VAT) imposed on medicines.

The Jharkhand Chemists and Druggists Association (JCDA), which has 15,000 members observed the bandh all over the state.

JCDA members said finance minister Raghubor Das invited them for a meeting at about 1300 hrs today to discuss the issue.

The JCDA has demanded payment of 4 per cent VAT on the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of the medicines at the first point. The government has stipulated that the tax would be collected at multiple points which includes manufacturing houses and retail outlets.

JCDA president Krishna Pradhan has stated that the existing provision of collecting VAT was complex.

Finance minister Raghubor Das said the government has agreed 'in principle' to impose one-time tax on MRP. An amendment bill would soon be sent for assent of the Governor and the entire process was expected to be completed by April 22, he added.

UNI

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