Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday wrote to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman urging her to exempt GST on oxygen concentrators for the next six months due to raging COVID-19 pandemic.
Citing Delhi’s COVID-19 data, he said the national capital’s health infrastructure is stretched to the limit.
On an average, there have been 25,000 new COVID cases everyday in Delhi and about 10 per cent of them require some form of hospitalisation including oxygen support, he said.
“More than 50,000 patients currently are in home isolation and about a quarter of them need some form of oxygen support at home due to difficulty in availability of oxygen beds in the NCT of Delhi,” Sisodia said.
“Oxygen concentrators are in short supply and even if one manages to arrange oxygen cylinder, there is unprecedented shortfall in the availability of medical oxygen creating uncertainty and panic among patients under home isolation,” he added.
There is no availability of oxygen concentrators in the market, he said.
While expressing gratitude to the government for “allowing the import of oxygen concentrators for personal use through e-commerce portals till July 31 and also the reduction of IGST on such imports from 28 per cent to 12 per cent”, he said oxygen concentrators have become essential life support machines during the ongoing crisis.
“It would be appropriate if the government of India and the GST Council consider exempting GST on oxygen concentrators for a period of six months to make them more affordable for our citizens,” he said in the letter. Live Mint