The Haryana State Chemists' and Druggists' Association (HSCDA) has decided to observe a statewide strike on May 10 to protest the new central government policy which will adversely affect profit.
The HSCDA is part of the All India Organisation for Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD).
At present, chemists have a 20% margin on all sales but the new drug policy will reduce the margin by around six per cent causing a loss of Rs. 135 crore per month. "The government's policy is impractical as it will reduce profits. It is also against the interests of consumers," said AIOCD general secretary, Suresh Gupta.
There are about 5.5 lakh retail chemists in Haryana and 4.5 lakh out of those cater to general consumers. "We have informed the government about the shutdown and protests but the response was not satisfactory," said Gupta.
The HSCDA members will also participate in a demonstration at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on May 10. About 7.5 lakh member shops will remain shut to protest the government's indifference.
The annual domestic market turnover of the medicine industry in India is nearly Rs. 80,000 crore apart from exports worth more than Rs. 75,000 crore. The day-long protest on May 10 is set to cause a total loss of Rs. 450 crore to the industry.