The government had last month waived customs duty on import of medical grade oxygen, oxygen concentrator and related equipment.

A COVID-19 patient taking in oxygen through an oxygen mask with a woman wearing a n95 mask sitting in front of him
Money Oxygen Sunday, May 02, 2021 - 17:42

The government on Saturday slashed Integrated GST rate on oxygen concentrators for personal use to 12%, from 28% earlier, for two months till June 30. "IGST on Import of Oxygen Concentrators for personal use has been reduced from 28 per cent to 12 per cent to bring IGST rate on such personal imports at par with commercial imports of the same, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) tweeted.

An oxygen concentrator is a medical device that concentrates oxygen from ambient air. It is in high demand due to increasing COVID-19 cases in the country. These concentrators capture and filter the air, unlike oxygen cylinders which can only store a fixed amount of oxygen.

This reduced IGST rate for imports of concentrator for personal use shall be applicable up to June 30. The government had last month waived customs duty on import of medical grade oxygen, oxygen concentrator and related equipment.

Under the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the tax levied on consumption of goods or rendering of service is split 50:50 between the Centre and the state.

On inter-state movement of goods as well as imports, an Integrated-GST or IGST is levied, which accrues to the Centre. The amount paid as IGST can be utilised by businesses for claiming credit while making CGST or SGST payments at the time of actual sale.

The government on Friday had allowed imports of oxygen concentrators for personal use through post, courier or e-commerce portals under the gift category amid increasing demand for oxygen due to rising COVID-19 cases.

The exemption for oxygen concentrators is allowed only for a period till July 31, 2021, for personal use, according to a notification of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

"Import of goods, including those purchased from e-commerce portals, through post or courier, where customs clearance is sought as gifts, is prohibited except for life saving drugs/ medicines/ oxygen concentrators and rakhi (but not gifts related to rakhi)," the notification said.

Demand for oxygen-related equipment has been increasing in the wake of second wave of Covid-19 pandemic. India reported a record over 4.01 lakh new COVID-19 infections and 3,523 deaths on Saturday.

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