New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday (May 9, 2021) wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought exemption of customs duty and taxes on medical equipment and COVID-19 related drugs.
In a letter, Mamata stated that a large number of organizations and individuals have come forward to donate oxygen concentrators, cylinders, cryogenic storage tanks, tankers and tank containers and COVID related drugs.
"However, many of the donors and agencies have approached the State Government to consider exemption of these items from customs duty, SGST, CGST, IGST," Mamata wrote.
She added, "As the rate structure falls under the purview of the Central Government, I would request that these items may be exempted from CST/customs duty and other such duties and taxes to help remove supply constraints of the above-mentioned life-saving drugs and equipment and contribute towards effective management of COVID pandemic."
Mamata said that the donations from these organizations will greatly supplement the efforts of the State Government in meeting the huge gap in demand and supply.
Mamata Banerjee's letter to PM Modi comes a day after West Bengal registered its highest single-day COVID-19 deaths and cases. The state on Saturday recorded 127 new fatalities and 19,436 fresh infections.
West Bengal has so far witnessed 12,203 coronavirus-related deaths and 9,73,718 cases.