According to reports, Rouhani’s government owes the pharmaceutical industry 4 trillion Toman spread across a chain of various sectors. “If the government does not pay its debt, there won’t be any more productions of medicine in Iran,” said Faramarz Ekhteraei, head of the syndicate of producers and packagers of drugs and chemicals in Iran.
As reported by the local news ILNA on 16 July 2018, Ekhteraei has expressed his concerns in this regard saying: “The most important issue we are faced with, is the current volume of accumulated debts. We need money to open a Letter of Credit (LC), to import basic or intermediate ingredients, and to purchase domestic primary goods for production.”
He reiterated: “The unpaid debt of government is our biggest problem for our current production capacity”.
Ekhteraei also pointed out that: “The government owes the entire pharmaceutical industry around 4 trillion Toman, which is spread across a chain of various sectors. Even our sector, which is at the end of this chain, is short of 1.2 trillion Toman. Which means that if all these sectors are supplied with 4 trillion Toman, the arrears will be cleared in full”.
He added: “These debts have remained unpaid for more than 15 months now; some payments may have been made in between, but even if so, the debts are still accumulating. Given the sensitivity of the pharmaceutical industry, it’s of utmost importance for the government to protect it by clearing its debt of 4 trillion Toman. Which given its ability, must be easy to do. Because otherwise, how are we supposed to continue with our productions or open LC?”
With regards to the impact of these debts on the domestic production of medicine, Ekhteraei stated: “If these debts remain unpaid, the consequences will be serious and dangerous.”
According to him, the government has several ways by which it can clear or at least reduce its debts; for example, it can pay the tax or insurance debts of the sectors it owes, or it can help the pharmaceutical companies open a LC for the import and production of goods. But it refuses to do anything at all.