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Scrap GST on Covid-related medical equipment, says TMC

TMC MP Sukhendu Shekhar Roy said, “The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee was the only CM to have alerted the Central Government in their levying of hefty taxes on COVID related items,"

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
June 13, 2021 3:35:19 am
TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy at the Parliament house in New Delhi. (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

The TMC on Saturday said it was “not sufficient” to decrease GST on medical equipment related to Covid-19, demanding that it (GST) should be exempted completely.

TMC MP Sukhendu Shekhar Roy said, “The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee was the only CM to have alerted the Central Government in their levying of hefty taxes on COVID related items, to that end she wrote to the Prime Minister in her letter (on 9th May,2021) to consider the exemption of taxes (customs duty SGST/CSGT/IGST) on COVID related items.”

The Chief Minister stated in her letter on May 9, “A large number of organisations, individuals, and benevolent agencies have come forward to donate oxygen concentrators, cylinders, cryogenic storage tanks, tankers and tank containers, and COVID-related drugs. Donations from these organisations will greatly supplement the efforts of the State government in meeting the huge gap in demand and supply… Many of the donors and agencies have approached the state government to consider exemption of these items from customs duty/ SGST/CGST/IGST.”

Roy said, “The GST on ambulance has been decreased from a whopping 28 % to 12 %, is that a joke? The lack of sensitivity of the Central government to even think of putting GST on ambulance is ridiculous. Around three crore people have been affected due to Covid and 3.7 lakh people have died in this pandemic. In this situation, keeping the tax intact with the first line of defence against the deadly virus is an example of anti-people government.”

He further said, “We protest against this anti-people government’s policy. We are demanding that all Covid medicines and equipment required for treating Covid-19 should be completely exempted from all taxes. The country witnessed a horrific time when due to the lack of oxygen, thousands of people died and the covid death soar, hundreds of dead bodies were found floating on the river Ganga. We as Indian citizens bowed our head in shame when shrouds were being removed from bodies buried in sand on banks of Ganga.”

He claimed, “On May 9, when WB CM requested the PM to exempt taxes, if he would have implemented the same, then many lives would have been saved in our country. We must not forget that to facilitate ease of work for Prime Minister, Rs 20,000 crore has been spent on the Central Vista Project.”

4,286 fresh Covid cases

Meanwhile, on Saturday, 4,286 persons tested positive and the state witnessed 81 deaths. The total death toll till today increased to 16,812. On Saturday, 3,149 patients discharged from hospital as they cured of the infection.

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