Oxygen concentrators emerged as “essential life support machines”, says Manish Sisodia.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the finance portfolio, on Monday wrote to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman requesting that GST be waived on oxygen concentrators for a period of six months.
These, Mr. Sisodia wrote, had emerged as “essential life support machines” given the surging COVID cases in the Capital and citizens would benefit if the GST complement of the price could be waived off.
At the moment, Mr. Sisodia wrote, Delhi has 16,272 non-ICU oxygen beds and 4,866 oxygen beds and the Delhi government was working on a “war footing” at creating 15,000 oxygenated non-ICU beds, 1,200 ICU beds over next 10 days even as more than 50,000 COVID patients were in home isolation.
He expressed gratitude to Ms. Sitharaman for the Centre’s decision for allowing the import of oxygen concentrators for personal use through e-commerce portals till July 32 this year and the reduction of IGST on these from 28% to 12%.
However, these oxygen concentrators had become “essential life support machines” during the ongoing and unprecedented health crisis and steps could be considered to further lower the financial burden on those purchasing them, he stated.
“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 wrote.