Amid a massive oxygen crisis and surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala has written a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, requesting to exempt oxygen concentrators from GST on Monday.
In the letter, Chautala wrote, "I take this opportunity to convey my gratitude to the Government of India for allowing the import of oxygen concentrators for personal use through e-commerce portals, post or courier till July followed by a reduction of the rate of Integrated GST on such imports from 28% to 12%. "
"As we know that most oxygen concentrators are not produced domestically and large quantities of such concentrators are being imported presently in view of the current pandemic crisis. I request you to consider exempting GST on oxygen concentrators, for the time being, thereby making oxygen concentrators more affordable for the public," Chautala added.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has directed the Centre to prepare a buffer stock of oxygen for emergency purposes in collaboration with states and decentralize the location of the stocks so that it is immediately available if the normal supply chain is disrupted. A three-judge bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said the emergency stocks shall be created within the next four days and replenished on a day-to-day basis, in addition to the existing allocation of medical oxygen supply to the states.
"We direct the central government in collaboration with the states to prepare a buffer stock of oxygen to be used for emergency purposes to ensure supply lines continue to function even in unforeseen circumstances. The location of the emergency stocks shall be decentralized so as to be immediately available if the normal supply chain is disrupted to any hospital for any reason," the bench said.
"The emergency stocks shall be created within the next four days. The replenishment of the emergency stocks will also be monitored on a real-time basis through the virtual control room in active consultation with each state/UT. This is in addition to the day-to-day allocations," it added.