|Sportstar Aces Awards 2023 | VOTE FOR TOP CATEGORIES

COVID-19 vaccine, oxygen imports exempted from GST, with caveats

Relaxation only for global donors certified by State Govts

May 03, 2021 10:43 pm | Updated May 04, 2021 07:55 am IST - NEW DELHI

Family members of coronavirus patients wait outside an oxygen-filling centre, in New Delhi on May 3, 2021.

Family members of coronavirus patients wait outside an oxygen-filling centre, in New Delhi on May 3, 2021.

Imports of COVID-19 relief material, including vaccines, medical oxygen and Remdesivir vials, will get a conditional ‘ad-hoc’ Goods and Services Tax (GST) exemption till June 30, the Finance Ministry said on Monday.

The government had already exempted the import of these items from customs duty and health cess, but integrated GST (IGST) was being levied on such imports, which will be withdrawn for two months for ‘relief materials being donated from abroad’.

The exemption won’t be available for domestic companies or charities importing these items if they are purchasing them, even if for free distribution in the country, senior officials clarified. The relevant notification specifies that the relaxation is for COVID-19 material ‘received free of cost for free distribution anywhere in India for COVID relief’.

State chief secretaries were told to appoint nodal officers so that ‘entities desirous of importing COVID relief material for free distribution may approach them for certification’. So global donors would need to register with individual States where they wish to route relief material.

“This is in response to representations from charitable organisations, corporates and entities outside India seeking exemption from paying IGST on the import of COVID-19 relief material,” the Ministry said in a statement.

Goods already imported but pending clearance from Customs as of Monday, will also be covered. Last week, the government allowed the import of oxygen concentrators for personal use without paying customs duties, though a GST of 28% was payable for such imports, which was subsequently reduced to 12%.

Top News Today

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.