Punjab govt imposes tax on life-saving vaccines
According to details, the provincial government has imposed 0.09 percent Punjab Infrastructure Development tax on free vaccines to immunize children from a number of diseases in the province.
It is pertinent to mention here that international organizations such as UNICEF provide free vaccines to immunize children.
The federal Ministry for Health has urged the provincial government to withdraw imposition of duty on vaccines but Punjab Revenue Authority has rejected the federal ministry demand.
The health ministry has contacted Chief Secretary Punjab and informed him about the possible damage to the immunization campaign in the province in case of imposition of tax on vaccines.
Meanwhile, poliovirus was found in environmental samples collected from Rawalpindi and Lahore.
The provincial government has imposed infrastructure development tax on import of vaccines that help control childhood illness, disability and mortality under the Expanded Programme on Immunisation.
A large quantity of vaccines including poliomyelitis, neonatal tetanus, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (Whooping Cough), Hepatitis-B, pneumonia, meningitis, childhood tuberculosis, besides logistics (syringes, safety boxes, refrigerators) is being donated by international health partners such as Global Alliance for Vaccine Immunization (GAVI) through UNICEF to vaccinate 6.9 million children of Pakistan free of cost each year.