Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday wrote to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, requesting that GST be waived on oxygen concentrators for six months.
These had emerged as “essential life support machines” given the surging COVID cases in the Capital and citizens would benefit if the GST component of their price could be waived, said Mr. Sisodia, who also holds the finance portfolio.
“There is no availability of oxygen concentrators in the market…During this unprecedented health crisis, oxygen concentrators have become essential life support machines. It would be appropriate if the Centre 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.
“As you are aware, Delhi is in the midst of unprecedented COVID surge, which has stretched the health infrastructure to the maximum level,” he said. He added that on an average, 25,000 new cases were surfacing daily and about 10% of them required some form of hospitalisation, including oxygen support.
Number of beds
Delhi has 16,272 non-ICU oxygen beds and 4,866 oxygen beds and the 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%.