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West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee urges PM Modi to waive taxes, duties on medical equipment, drugs

CM Mamata Banerjee also urged PM Modi to strengthen health infrastructure and augment supplies of equipment, medicines and oxygen for treatment of coronavirus-positive patients.

May 09, 2021 / 02:01 PM IST
 (File image)

(File image)

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to waive all forms of taxes and customs duty on equipment and drugs being used to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Banerjee also urged Modi to strengthen health infrastructure and augment supplies of equipment, medicines and oxygen for treatment of coronavirus-positive patients.

"A large number of organisations, individuals and benevolent agencies have come forward to donate oxygen concentrators, cylinders, containers and COVID-related drugs."

"Many of the donors have approached the state government to consider exemption of these from customs duty, SGST, CGST, IGST," she said in the letter.

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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"As the rate structure falls under the purview of the central government, I would request that these items may be exempted from GST/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 the COVID pandemic," Banerjee said.

She has been attacking the Centre for "failing" to control the spread of the disease in the country.

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PTI

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