COVID-19: NCP demands GST waiver on oxygen equipment & drugs

Mumbai: The NCP has sought waiver of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on all oxygenequipment and other drugs being procured to tackle the COVID-19 surge, claiming that such levies were “choking” the health care system.
Maharashtra NCP chief Jayant Patil in a tweet tagged a letter written by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) to the Union finance minister on May 6, requesting that the GST, customs and any other levies on drugs and oxygen products be waived off until March 31, 2022.
“While India is reeling at the lack and unavailability of medical apparatus, a 12% levy on them is simply absurd.
@FinMinIndia should heed words of @ASSOCHAM4India and waive of GST levies on all O2 equipments immediately. It is choking our health care system,” Patil, who is the state’s water resources minister, tweeted on Saturday night.
The NCP shares power in Maharashtra with the Shiv Sena and Congress.
Since GST related decisions are within the purview of the GST council, copy of the letter has been sent to all state finance ministers so that the matter is addressed expeditiously, the ASSOCHAM letter said.
It said to meet the huge and sudden demand of medicinal drugs and devices, hospitals are installing PSA plants,and states, corporates,individuals and donors are buying oxygen concentrators, cylinders, cryogenic storage tanks, tankers and containers, the industry body said.
These measures are imperative for the country to ensure there are no supply constraints with respect to these life saving items to meet not only the current surge, but also prepare for the impending third wave of the pandemic, it said in the letter.
India recorded 4,03,738 fresh COVID-19 cases in a day, which pushed the tally to 2,22,96,414, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Sunday.
The death toll climbed to 2,42,362 with 4,092 daily deaths, the data updated at 8 am showed.

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