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FM Nirmala Sitharaman releases list of COVID-19 relief material exempt from tax, holds quick follow-up meeting


New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday (May 3) undertook a quick follow up action by briefing the chief secretaries of the states on the order on IGST exemption in an attempt to speed up clearances of goods received free of cost for distribution for COVID-19 relief.

The Centre on Monday exempted IGST or integrated GST the import of goods received free of cost for distribution for COVID-19 relief. The exemption applicable on all specified imports made till June 30, 2021.

In a tweet the Finance Minister said, “Quick follow-up action in briefing Chief Secretaries of states on today`s order of IGST exemption on specified #COVID19 relief materials (Customs duty waiver given earlier). Will speed up clearance for charitable organisations and others.”

The government had earlier issued a notification exempting basic customs duty and/or health cess imports of a number of COVID-19 related relief materials for a limited period.

These included Remdesivir injection/ API and Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBCD), inflammatory diagnostic (markers) kits, imports of which has been exempted from Customs duty till October 31, 2021.

Imports of medical grade oxygen, oxygen therapy related equipment such as oxygen concentrators, cryogenic transport tanks etc., and COVID-19 vaccines have been exempted till July 31, 2021.

The IGST exemption, however, will be conditional. The Centre had decided that the state governments shall appoint a nodal authority in the states for the purpose of this exemption. 

Such authority will then authorise any entity, relief agency or statutory body for free distribution of such COVID-relief material.

The Finance Ministry statement said that goods can be imported free of cost by a state government or any entity/relief agency/statutory body authorized in this regard for free distribution anywhere in India, news agency ANI reported.

The importer shall produce a certificate from the said nodal authorities stating that the goods are meant for free distribution for COVID-19 relief.

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Source: Zee News