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Delhi govt rolls out medical oxygen policy to avoid second Covid wave-like crisis

The incentives under the policy include Rs 20 lakh per MT capacity for liquid oxygen manufacturing plants and PSA plants in hospitals and outside hospitals, Rs 3 lakh per MT capacity of cryogenic tankers and Rs 1 lakh per MT for oxygen storage in hospitals and nursing homes.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi |
Updated: September 3, 2021 9:21:14 am
The policy is aimed at making Delhi self-reliant in production of medical oxygen. (File Photo)

To avoid the crisis that it had faced during the second wave of Covid-19, the Delhi government has rolled out a medical oxygen policy to augment the production, transportation and storage capacity of the life-saving gas by inviting applications from private firms interested in setting up related infrastructure.

The applications will be scrutinized by a seven-member screening committee led by the special commissioner (Industries). Under the policy, which was approved by the Delhi Cabinet on August 3, subsidies will be released only after the government is convinced that a facility has been commissioned.

The policy is aimed at making Delhi self-reliant in production of medical oxygen to tackle crises like the second wave of Covid-19 when a sharp rise in demand had crippled the health infrastructure.

The guidelines drawn up by the Industries Department also lays down a stringent process of vetting applications, release of subsidies, submission of annual reports and allows for “recovery of incentives” in cases of false declarations.

The incentives under the policy include Rs 20 lakh per metric tonne (MT) capacity for liquid oxygen manufacturing plants and pressure swing adsorption (PSA) plants in hospitals and outside hospitals, Rs 3 lakh per MT capacity of cryogenic tankers and Rs 1 lakh per MT for oxygen storage in hospitals and nursing homes.

“For commissioning of non-captive oxygen generation plant (PSA/ASU) and LOX (liquid oxygen) manufacturing plant, the applicant is required to submit purchase bills of plant and machinery along with photographs, sales bill as a proof of commissioning. Similarly, the owner of the tanker/storage tank has to submit a purchase bill and photograph of facilities installed for disbursal of incentives. For Cryogenic Tankers the applicant has to submit a copy of the Registration Certificate also,” the guidelines, underlining the preconditions that the companies need to fulfill to secure the subsidies, read.

In case of liquid oxygen generation plants, the policy also proposes a power subsidy of Rs 4 per unit consumed in the manufacturing process for the first five years from the date of commencement of commercial production.

The guidelines make it clear that the power subsidies will be released based on submission of bills at the end of each quarter. “The Policy Branch shall examine the matter and shall place the genuine claims to the Special Secretary (Industries) to place the matter before the Secretary (Industries) for his/her consideration for approval/rejection as the case may be,” it adds.

In order to avail the incentives, the liquid oxygen plants of up to 100 MT capacity will have to be commissioned by December 31, 2022, PSA plants of up to Rs 200 MT capacity by March 31, 2022, and cryogenic tankers with capacity of up to 500 MT by December 31, 2021.

On Thursday, Health Minister Satyendar Jain informed that so far, 31 PSA plants have been installed in the city and 57 more will be set up “in about one-and-a-half months”. “We are working tirelessly and preparing to tackle any future Covid-19 wave,” he added.

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