Written by Santanu Chowdhury
| Kolkata |
May 9, 2021 12:16:53 pm
A oxygen parlour facility at Uttirna amphitheatre in Kolkata
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to
waive GST, customs duty, taxes from oxygen concentrators, cylinders, and covid related drugs.
“A large number of organizations, individuals, and benevolent agencies have come forward to donate oxygen concentrators, cylinders, cryogenic storage tanks, tankers and tank containers, and COVID-related drugs. Donations from these organisations will greatly supplement the efforts of the state government in meeting the huge gap in demand and supply,” Banerjee wrote in the letter.
The chief minister added, “However, many of the donors and agencies have approached the State Government to consider exemption of these items from customs duty/SGST/CGST/lGST. As the rate structure falls under the purview of the Central Government, I would request that these items may be exempted from GST/customs duty and other such duties and taxes, to help remove supply constraints of the abovementioned life-saving drugs and equipment and contribute towards effective management of COVID pandemic.”
In a letter earlier, Banerjee requested the prime minister to allow free-of-cost vaccination against Covid-19 to all. She also requested him to ensure adequate supply of essential drugs and hike allocation of medical oxygen for West Bengal.
In the letter, the chief minister stressed four specific points. Firstly, she requested universal immunisation for all in a transparent and time-bound manner. “At present vaccine availability is too inadequate to provide to eligible beneficiaries and government of India direction to extend vaccination up to 18 years plus makes it unrealistic to achieve. So supply of vaccines is the core issue to address now,” Mamata said.
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