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Pakistan has a large market for medical quality control equipments.

Economic Review: What is your function in pharma, medical and other sectors? Habibullah Khan: M/s. Kiran International (Pvt.) Limited are basically importers/indenters of Pharmaceutical/Scientific/Laboratory equipments, machinery and spares for the Pharmaceutical industries.

ER: What is the range and quality of your equipments?

HK: We provide a very wide range of products in fact in application in all the relevant pharmaceutical departments; quality control instruments for the quality control departments, machinery for Pharmaceutical production, laboratory equipments for use in the scientific laboratories, research institutions in the University etc. Quality, both in product and service is a corporate philosophy, thus we select and represent renowned names from developed nations i.e. USA, UK, Switzerland, Germany and Japan.

ER: What are the major problems in the import of Pharma quality control equipments. What measures do you suggest for its improvement.

HK: There are quite a few problems in importation, some major ones are as follows:- a) Our Custom Tariff does not very clearly

define the status of various equipment

and machinery viz. a viz. the duties

and taxes. This ambiguity leads to

time delays, harassment and eventual

loss in monetary terms both to the

importer and government. b) The tariff list has only a handful of

items and categories of products on

its list. Whereby today new and varied

products are being developed at an

uncanny pace. c) It is impossible to clarify each and

every item in the custom tariff book,

however custom and CCIE should

define very clearly each item prior to

issuance of license. Custom should

give in writing classifying item/items

so that no problem is created upon

importation of such item/items. Thus

we recommend that a cell should be

created in the customs department

which should advise custom

harmonised tariff nbr, its duties etc.

within one week time maximum of

application by an importer for such a

product.

ER: Do you supply locally manufactured products. If so how will you rate its performance? Is there any likelihood of self-sufficiency in equipment to curtail imports.

HK: We do supply locally manufactured goods to the industry. The performance is relatively satisfactory but the quantum of equipment that can be manufactured locally is very limited because of following reasons:- a) The Pharma industry is very small thus

we cannot compete in price against

imported equivalents which are

produced for the world market; b) Most of the equipments are very

sophisticated and a great deal of R&D

is required prior to its manufacturing; c) The Hi-tech products need to be

certified by competent authorities. And

as pharma being a sensitive, field errors

can be life threatening.

Thus it is very unlikely to become self-sufficient unless and until our scientific base and manufacturing expertise reach an adequately refined level. However, attempts should be made for encouragement from the government to induce and provide an environment conducive for achieving this goal as there is no dearth of talent in our country.

ER: How will you comment on present government policy regarding your trade. Are taxes and duties excessive.

HK: Although, government has provided relatively low duties and taxes on equipment/instruments, however more incentives are required. Incentives should be given on equipments which can be potentially manufactured here so that technology is transferred at a lower cost. Further to encourage multinational pharma investment if raw material and equipment duties are reduced the cost of production would be more attractive to investors viz. a viz. the low retail price control by the government.

ER: Do you feel that the deregulation policy of the present government will boost the pharma business so also the quality control as it is co-related.

HK: The deregulation policy of the government has not yet attracted foreign big pharmaceuticals multinationals to invest in Pakistan. It is hoped that as soon as more confidence is reached definitely these multinationals will start investing in Pakistan. Better business environment, and other infrastructure are being made available in the country which will add to this attraction.

ER: How do you foresee Pakistan's market for Pharmaceutical/Laboratory/Scientific Instruments and quality control equipments.

HK: Pharmaceutical Industry can not be renewed without taking into consideration our mental attitude towards cleanliness. We as a nation have no concept or awareness of cleanliness or nor do we feel the need to exercise any policy to help the same. The policy expressed by the government is merely on paper as the person responsible for implementing the same is not convinced of the concept himself. The evidence is the state of cleanliness in and around our own houses, public places be it office premises or parks. To offset the problems emanating from such factors we need medicines.

The same regulatory body is now supposed to monitor the pharmaceuticals for using safe quality equipments to produce safe drugs. Barring multinationals the rest employ products and environment which can hardly be considered adequate for preparing life saving drugs (compared to world standards). The market is full of spurious drugs. There appears to be no check on them. Further the government lacks equipments which can validate/certify the equipments employed in industry as per standard. Private regulatory bodies can easily take up this task provided they have proper backing of the government. Such private bodies can do the external audit of all Pharma facilities to ensure whether or not the standards are being met. Summing up the situation I personally feel that instead of production of more and more pharmaceutical products we as a nation should think on the basis of prevention than prescription. However, as at present state of affairs Pakistan has a very large market for such instruments and equipments.

Mr. Habibullah Khan, Managing Director of Kiran International (Pvt.) Limited, holds the degree of Associate Engineer in Electronic. He passed his bachelor examination from Karachi University. He is a representative of Italian Telecommunication Co. in Pakistan, besides partner in Kiran Enterprises. He is an Executive member of Pak-Italy Friendship Association. Mr. Habib is Charter Member of Lions Clubs International and a Melvin Jones Fellow. He is widely travelled in Europe, USA and Far East. Mr. Habibullah Khan, in an interview expressed his view over the problems faced by importers/indenters of medical quality control equipments in Pakistan. Excerpts:- Pharmaceutical Industry can not be renewed without taking into consideration our mental attitude towards cleanliness. We as a nation have no concept or awareness of cleanliness or nor do we feel the need to exercise any policy to help the same. The policy expressed by the government is merely on paper as the person responsible for implementing the same is not convinced of the concept himself. The evidence is the state of cleanliness in and around our own houses, public places be it office premises or parks. To offset the problems emanating from such factors we need medicines.
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Author:Raza, Moosi
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Aug 1, 1992
Words:1140
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