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Mamata Banerjee wants exemption from taxes on oxygen cylinders, medicines and other items for Covid-19 which are already exempted. Details

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman urged Mamata Banerjee to re-check the list as the items mentioned in the list were covered for tax exemption already.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has requested for exemption of GST/customs duty and other such taxes on O2 concentrators, cylinders & COVID related drugs as requested by donors. She made the request in a letter written to PM Narendra Modi on May 9.

Citing that a large number of organizations, individuals and agencies have come forward to donate essential medical supplies to mitigate the supply-demand gap amidst the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the donors have approached the state to consider exemption of these items from customs/SGST/CGST/IGST, said the letter.

Letter by West Bengal CM for tax exemption on Covid relief material

However, it seems that the CM is not aware of the latest developments in the matter, as the exemptions that she requested are already there. After the request made by the CM was made public, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman took to Twitter to inform the newly re-elected Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that an exemption from IGST for imports of a list of Covid-19 relief items was already granted on May 3 while exemption from Customs Duty/health cess was given much earlier. 

Sitharaman urged Mamata Banerjee to re-check the list as the items mentioned in the list were covered for tax exemption already.

The Finance Minister also informed that all COVID relief material imported by Indian Red Cross for free distribution in the country was fully exempted from duties including IGST. 

Detailing out the provision made by the Centre, Sitharaman specified that tax exemption applied to various goods including test kits, oxygen equipment, critical drugs, etc. when imported free of cost for free distribution in the country by any entity, state government, relief agency, or autonomous body basis a certificate issued by any state government.

Clarifying the tax slabs on vaccines, the Finance Minister gave a detailed break-up of the pricing, taxation and exemption informing why a complete exemption of GST on vaccines is not feasible. 

The state of West Bengal recorded around 20,000 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours and registered its highest single-day deaths of 127 COVID-19 patients. 

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