Govt exempts raw material imports of Amphotericin B and Covid testing kits till September end
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has exempted basic customs duty on imports of specified active pharmaceutical ingredients or APIs or excipients and raw materials for Amphotericin B till August end, and for Covid test kits manufacturing till September end.
The Board issued a notification to the effect Tuesday, “on being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do.”
The exemption is in line with the government’s Make in India policy and likely to further bring down prices of the products for consumers, said experts.
“This is likely to further bring down the cost of such items in India making it more affordable for the common man,” said Rajat Bose, Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.
Abhishek Jain, tax partner, EY, said “It’s is a well thought exemption being granted by the Indian government to fight the Covid crisis and is a step to make the domestic industry self – reliant while fighting the pandemic.”
The exemptions follow rate reduction of several goods required for treatment of Covid amid the second wave.
CBIC had notified 5% GST on 18 Covid related relief materials including oxygen concentrators and remdesivir injections, and reducing the tax on ambulances from 28% to 12%, till September 30.
The Board had also reduced rates of pulse oximeters, ventilators, hand sanitizers, Bipap machines, Covid testing kits and oxygen concentrators among others to 5% from 12% or 18% for the period. Also included in this list are drugs recommended by the health ministry.
Critical drugs Tocilizumab and Amphotericin B, used in treatment of black fungus, were been completely exempted from GST till September end.