COVID-19 surge | Govt waives customs duty on Remdesivir API, injection
The move comes days after the Centre approved the stepping up of Remdesivir's domestic production. The export of the drug was also placed under an interim ban on April 11.
April 21, 2021 / 07:26 AM IST
Vial of Remdesivir (File image: Reuters)
The customs duty on imported Remdesivir injections and the drug's active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) has been waived, the Centre announced on April 20.
The move is aimed at facilitating the enhanced imports of Remdesivir - the anti-viral medication whose demand has shot up in India since the county was hit by the second wave of the pandemic.
The central government has also exempted customs duty on the import of "Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBCD)", used in the manufacture of Remdesivir, subject to the condition that the importer follows the procedure set out in the Customs (Import of Goods at Concessional Rate of Duty) Rules, 2017, stated an official release issued by the Union Ministry of Finance.
The move comes days after the Centre approved the stepping up of domestic production of Remdesivir.
Also read: Remdesivir production to be increased to up to 78 lakh vials per month: Centre
In the meetings held with all the existing manufacturers of the Remdesivir drug, a decision was taken to "increase production/supply and reduce prices of Remdesivir", Union Minister of State Mansukh Mandaviya said on April 14.
The current total installed capacity of the seven manufacturers of Remdesivir is 38.80 lakh vials per month. Fast-track approval has been given for seven additional sites having the production capacity of 10 lakh vials per month to six manufacturers, said a statement issued by the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers on April 14.
"Another 30 lakh vials per month production is lined up. This would ramp up the capacity for manufacturing to around 78 lakh vials per month," the statement added.
As an additional measure, Remdesivir, API and formulation were placed under export ban on April 11 to increase the supply of Remdesivir in the domestic market.
The states in India with a high caseload have demanded the Centre to expedite the supply of Remdesivir. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray stated on April 13 that the state currently requires 40,000-50,000 injections per day.