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The manufacturer of India’s favorite painkiller, Dolo 650, used $125 million in “freebies” to boost sales.

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The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has charged Micro Labs Ltd. with engaging in “unethical practices” and providing doctors and other medical professionals with gifts valued at approximately USD 125 million (INR 1,000 crore) in exchange for endorsing the company’s products. The Income Tax authorities raided 36 Micro Labs Ltd. locations in nine states on July 6, according to PTI.

Although the group was not named in the CBDT statement, sources confirmed that it was Micro Labs. Following the action against the Bengaluru-based pharmaceutical company, the CBDT seized “unaccounted” cash totaling $150,000 (INR 1.20 crore) and gold and diamond jewelry worth $175,000, according to a statement (INR 1.40 crore).

The Indian I-T department’s administrative body stated, “A preliminary review of the evidence reveals that the group has been debiting in its books of account unallowable expenses for the distribution of freebies to medical professionals under the heading sales and promotion’.”

“Substantial incriminating evidence in the form of documents and digital data was discovered and seized during the search operations.”

Additionally, the CBDT accused the company of other irregularities.

“Various other methods of tax evasion, such as inadequate allocation of research and development expenses to eligible units and inflated claim of weighted deduction under section 35 (2AB),” the CBDT said, “have also been identified.”

According to reports, the department also discovered “violations” of the tax deduction at source (TDS) rules outlined in section 194C of the I-T Act.

Dolo-650 is an oral tablet that is both an analgesic (used to treat pain) and an antipyretic (used to treat fever) that doctors and medical store owners commonly prescribe to coronavirus patients to treat their typical pain and fever symptoms.

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