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Duty on life-saving drugs reduced

Duty on life-saving drugs reduced
New Delhi The government on Monday reduced basic customs duty on influenza vaccine and nine other specified life-saving drugs used for treating breast cancer, hepatitis-B, rheumatic arthritis, etc.

The government has also reduced basic customs duty for two bulk drugs used in manufacturing these medicines from 10 per cent to five per cent.

Bulk drugs are processed raw materials used in manufacturing the final doses of medicines.

"They (influenza vaccines, nine medicines and two bulk drugs) will also be totally exempt from excise duty and countervailing duty," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said while presenting the Budget in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Besides this, customs duty will also be reduced from 7.5 per cent to five per cent on two specified life-saving devices used in treating heart ailments, Mukherjee said.

These devices will also be fully exempt from excise duty and countervailing duty, he added.

Story First Published: July 06, 2009 14:27 IST

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