As the government getting ready to vaccinate all above the age of 18 years, it also intends to lay the ground for cheap imports of vaccines. Accordingly, the government may provide custom duty waiver on imported vaccine.
As of now, rate of custom duty on vaccine is 10 per cent.
“As of now, the proposal is yet to be ready. It will take some time,” a senior Finance Ministry official told BusinessLine. Normally, changes in custom duty or central excise on fuels are prerogative of Finance Ministry which it decided after consultation with administrative ministry. Once it is done, then a notification is issued to make duty revision effective
Imports of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine are due to arrive soon and the government has also urged Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson to sell their products to India.
As of now, two vaccine makers, SII and Bharat Biotech are supplying vaccines under the brand names of Covishield and Covaxin, respectively. On Monday, the government amended general financial rules to provide advance against future supply and that too with out any bank guarantee. Now, SII will get ₹3,000 crore while Bharat Biotech will get ₹15,00 crore. It is expected to boost the production capacity and thus more supply.