The Center has exempted basic customs duty on import of raw material used for manufacturing COVID test kits, specific API (active pharmaceutical ingredients) for black fungus drug amphotericin B.
A notification issued by the Revenue Department said that the basic customs duty exemption on import of raw materials for manufacturing of COVID-19 test kits will be applicable till September 30, which is used to produce the drug Amphotericin-B, a drug of mucormycosis i.e. black fungus. The discount treatment for some of the outgoing APIs will remain in place till August 31.
The move is aimed at increasing the availability of anti-fungal drug testing kits in the country. Duty-free import of raw material is expected to boost domestic manufacturing of this vital drug, which is in short supply in the country.
In May, the GST Council had decided to exempt imports of COVID relief items from payment of Integrated GST (IGST) among other exemptions.Also read UIDAI issued a new alert regarding Aadhaar Card, by adopting these steps, you can avoid Aadhar card fraud
In another major decision, the council had also decided to exempt amphotericin B from IGST.
Also, amid calls for lower levies on medicines, essential commodities in COVID-19 treatment, the GST Council in June decided to reduce rates of several COVID-relief items from the level of 12-18 per cent to 5 per cent, though it retained it. The tax rate on COVID vaccines remains unchanged at 5 per cent.
The council had also reduced the tax rates on amphotericin B to zero, giving it a 5 per cent exemption.Also read India’s patriotic song sung by children and soldiers in Russia, Hindustani swelled with pride
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