Mamata writes to Modi, requesting him to help strengthen health infrastructure to fight Covid-19

Kolkata : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to help strengthen health infrastructure in the state to fight Covid-19.

Ms Banerjee urged Prime Minister to waive GST, customs duty, taxes on oxygen concentrators, cylinders, Covid-related drugs.

The chief minister wrote, “I am writing to you regarding a critical issue on facilitating augmentation of a medical system including infrastructure, equipment, medicine and oxygen, necessitated due to sudden spike in the number of COVID cases in the country in general and also in West Bengal.”

“We all are trying our best to face new challenges and making all efforts to channelize resources from different sources, including ensuring availability of life-saving drugs and oxygen for COVID treatment,” she said.

“A large number of organizations, individual’ 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 organiiätions will greatly supplement the efforts of the State Government in meeting the huge gap in demand and supply,” Ms Banerjee wrote.

However, she said, many of the donors and agencies have approached the State Government to consider exemption of these items from customs duty/SGST/CGST/lGST.

The chief minister said 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 COVID pandemic.

“ I look forward to your kind consideration and cooperation in this critical matter,” Ms Banerjee added.

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