The Central government has decided to waive off basic customs duty on the import of Covid-19 vaccines for three months with immediate effect. It has also decided to waive off the basic customs duty and health cess on medical oxygen and oxygen-related equipment.
The decision was taken in a meeting to discuss steps to increase the supply of oxygen and oxygen-related equipment amid the acute surge in the Covid-19 cases in India. The meeting was chaired by PM Narendra Modi.
PM Modi emphasized that there was an immediate need to augment the supply of medical grade oxygen as well as equipment required for patient care both at home and in hospitals and asked all ministries and departments to work in synergy to this effect.
He was told that basic customs duty was exempted on Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredient recently, and a suggestion was made that the import of equipment related to providing oxygen to patients needs to be expedited, the statement said, announcing the measures.
The items to benefit from the decision include medical grade oxygen, oxygen concentrator along with 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 canister, oxygen filling systems, oxygen storage tanks, oxygen cylinders, including cryogenic cylinders and tanks besides any other device from which oxygen can be generated are among several other items under this category.