New Delhi: The Centre on Saturday decided to grant full exemption from basic customs duty and health cess on the import of Oxygen and related equipment for three months with immediate effect.
It was also decided that basic customs duty on import of Covid vaccines be also exempted with immediate effect for 3 months.
These decisions were taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review steps taken to boost oxygen availability in the country, the Ministry of Finance said.
This will boost the availability of these items as well as make them cheaper, the Ministry said in a statement.
Modi directed the Revenue Department to ensure seamless and quick customs clearance of such equipment.
The Prime Minister 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.
Modi stressed that all ministries and departments need to work in synergy to increase the availability of oxygen and medical supplies.
He was briefed that basic customs duty was exempted on Remdesivir and its API recently.
It was suggested that the import of equipment related to providing oxygen to patients needs to be expedited.
‘To augment their production and availability and to meet the rising demand, it was decided to grant full exemption from Basic Customs Duty and health cess on import of the following items related to Oxygen and Oxygen related equipment for three months with immediate effect: Medical grade Oxygen, Oxygen concentrator along with flow meter, regulator, connectors and tubing, Vacuum Pressure Swing Absorption (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 and Oxygen Generators,’ the statement said.
The items also include ISO Containers for Shipping Oxygen, Cryogenic Road transport tanks for Oxygen, Parts of the above to be used for the manufacture of equipment for production, transportation, distribution or storage of Oxygen, Any other device from which Oxygen can be generated, Ventilators (capable of functioning as high-flow devices) with a nasal cannula; Compressors including all accessories and tubing; humidifiers and Viral filters, High flow nasal cannula device with all attachments, Helmets for use with non-invasive ventilation, Non-invasive ventilation oronasal masks for ICU ventilators and Non-invasive ventilation nasal masks for ICU ventilators.
The Government has taken a lot of measures in the last few days to improve the supply of oxygen and medical supplies. IAF planes are bringing in cryogenic oxygen tanks from Singapore.
IAF is also transporting oxygen tanks in the country to reduce travel times. Similarly, in a major decision yesterday, free food grains will be given to 80 crore Indians for May and June, the statement said.