Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting today to review steps taken to boost oxygen availability in the country. In the meeting an important decision was made to augment the production and availability of Medical Oxygen in the Country amid its rising demand.
Centre has decided to grant full exemption from Basic Customs Duty and health cess on import of Medical Oxygen and other medical equipments related to medical use of Oxygen including Oxygen concentrator, Cannister, Filling Systems, Storage tanks, Pressure Swing Absorption & Vacuum Pressure Swing Absorption Plants, Cryogenic Oxygen Air Separation Units, Cryogenic Road transport tanks for Oxygen, Ventilators and any other device from which Oxygen can be generated. The Government also decided to exempt Covid vaccines from basic import duty for the next three months.
In the meeting, Mr. Modi emphasized the need to immediately augment the supply of medical grade oxygen as well as equipments required for patient care both at home and in hospitals.
The Prime Minister stressed that all ministries and departments need to work in synergy to increase availability of oxygen and medical supplies. He was briefed that basic customs duty was exempted on Remdesivir and its Active Pharmaceautical Ingridients recently. Mr. Modi also suggested that import of equipments related to providing oxygen to patients needs to be expedited.
The Prime Minister directed the Revenue Department to ensure seamless and quick custom clearance of all such equipments.
Department of Revenue has nominated Gaurav Masaldan, Joint Secretary in the Customs Department as the nodal officer for issues related to customs clearance for the above-mentioned items.
The Centre has taken a lot of measures in the last few days to improve supply of oxygen and medical supplies. Indian Air Force planes are bringing in cryogenic oxygen tanks from Singapore. It is also transporting oxygen tanks in the country to reduce travel times.
Finance Minister, Commerce and Industry Minister, Health Minister, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Member NITI Aayog, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria and Secretaries of the department of Revenue, Health and DPIIT including other officials also participated in the meeting.