GS Paper - 3 (Economy)

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has fully exempted imports of Covid 19 vaccines from basic customs duty, from 1 October till 31 December 2021. The Central Government, on being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest to do so, hereby exempt the goods of the description specified when imported into India, from the whole of the duty of customs leviable, the Board said in a notification issued on 29 September 2021.

What

  1. The Board specified 'COVID-19 vaccine', indicating all vaccines imported into the country will be exempt.
  2. Vaccines are presently charged customs duty of 10%. The government had in April exempted imports of Covid vaccines from customs duty for three months.
  3. The government had also decided to exempt the import of medical oxygen and connected equipment from import duty and health cess.
  4. While Covid vaccines continue to attract a 5% goods and services tax, the government had exempted some Covid treatment drugs from the tax and lowered the tax on other materials. The relief has been extended till the year end.

Flashback

  1. Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (erstwhile Central Board of Excise & Customs) is a part of the Department of Revenue under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
  2. It deals with the tasks of formulation of policy concerning levy and collection of Customs, Central Excise duties, Central Goods & Services Tax and IGST.
  3. The Board is the administrative authority for its subordinate organizations, including Custom Houses, Central Excise and Central GST Commissionerates and the Central Revenues Control Laboratory.