Covid: Centre exempts customs duty on vaccines, oxygen for 3 months


Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, the union government determined to grant full exemption from basic customs duty and health cess on import of oxygen-related equipment for a period of three months with instant effect.

“The decisions were taken at a high-level assembly chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” said the government on Saturday.

The assembly was once attended by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Principal Secretary to the PM, and other senior officials.

He was once told that basic customs duty was once exempted on Remdesivir and its API (active pharmaceutical ingredient) recently, and a suggestion was once made that the import of equipment related to providing oxygen to patients must be expedited, the government commentary said, announcing the measures.

The Prime Minister emphasised that there was once a right away wish to augment the provide of medical grade oxygen in addition to equipment required for patient care both at home and in hospitals.

All the way through the assembly, the government also determined that basic customs duty on import of Covid vaccines be exempted with instant effect for a period of 3 months.

“Modi stressed that every one ministries and departments wish to work in synergy to increase availability of oxygen and medical supplies,” the government said in an official commentary.

The items to have the benefit of the decision include medical grade oxygen, oxygen concentrator in conjunction with go with the flow meter, regulator, connectors and tubing vacuum pressure swing Alabsorption (VPSA) and pressure swing absorption (PSA) oxygen plants, cryogenic oxygen air separation units (ASUs) producing liquid/ gaseous oxygen.

Oxygen cannister, oxygen filling systems, oxygen storage tanks, oxygen cylinders, including cryogenic cylinders and tanks but even so any other device from which oxygen can also be generated are among several other items under this category.

The commentary famous that the government has taken numerous measures in the previous few days to reinforce provide of oxygen and medical supplies.

“IAF planes are bringing in cryogenic oxygen tanks from Singapore. IAF could also be transporting oxygen tanks in the country to minimize shuttle times. In a similar fashion, in a major decision the day past, free food grains will be provided 80 crore Indians for the month of May & June,” it added.

Govt says the above decisions will boost availability of these things in addition to cause them to cheaper. The PM directed the revenue branch to verify seamless and quick custom clearance of such equipment.

Accordingly, the Branch of Revenue has nominated Gaurav Masaldan, Joint Secretary, Customs, as the nodal officer for issues related to customs clearance for the above-mentioned items.

India on Saturday reported a world record of 346,786 fresh coronavirus infections, taking the cumulative caseload to 16,610,481. The country also saw 2,624 deaths in highest single-day spike as hospitals and patients gasp for oxygen and plead for supplies.

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