The government on Friday can allowed people living in abroad to send oxygen concentrators as gifts to relatives in India and exempted custom duty on the good. A statement from the Ministry of Finance said the central government hereby exempts the goods of description specified from the First Schedule of the Customs Tariff Act when imported into India.
The statement adds that the custom duty would be waived on Oxygen concentrator, medical oxygen, oxygen canister, storage tanks, oxygen generators, any device to generate oxygen and some other items.
Under the Indian rules, gifts over Rs 1,000 face customs duty and integrated GST. While the government has suspended basic customs duty on several oxygen related equipment, IGST is required to be paid.
The statement added that the notification will remain in force upto and inclusive of the 31st July, 2021. The move comes amid India facing acute shortage of oxygen in hospitals as Covid cases continue to rise in the country. The dearth of oxygen has led to import of oxygen from many countries and India pepping up its oxygen production.
The UN children’s agency has sent critical life-saving supplies, including 3,000 oxygen concentrators, diagnostic tests and other equipment to help India combat a devastating new wave of COVID-19. The UNICEF also said it is continuing to support the Indian government in the acceleration of its national vaccine rollout to equitably reach all population groups.