Breaking News Delhi HC asks Centre to waive import duty on...

Delhi HC asks Centre to waive import duty on Black Fungus medicine

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New Delhi, May 27 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court today asked the Centre to consider waiving of Import Duty on Amphotericin-B, a medicine used in the treatment of Black Fungus (Mucomycosis).

The Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh also recorded the submissions made by the Counsel for the Centre that it would consider waiving of the import duty on the medicine.

The Court was hearing the plea filed by Laieq Ahmad Siddiqui, who was admitted in Gangaram Hospital and was in dire need of Vials to counter Black Fungus (Mucomycosis). The man was represented by his grand daughter Iqra Khalid, who sought SOS health care for Siddiqui.

The Delhi High Court directed that if any import is made by any person, the same may be cleared by accepting the bond from the importer without actual payment of duty till a final decision on the said aspect is taken.

During the course of hearing, the Court was informed that there is import duty payable on the medicine Amphotericin-B.

Senior Advocate Krishnan Venugopal stated that the duty is between 27-30 percent.

The Court noted in its order, “This is one of those diseases, which are affecting thousands all over the country. The Centre should seriously consider the waiver of custom and duties on the drug, at least for the period it is in short supply in India.”

Counsel appearing for the Centre Kirtiman submitted that the Secretary, Finance and CBDT would be informed and a decision would be taken in a couple of days.

“We are hopeful that the Centre will look to waive import and other duty on the medicine and we direct if any import is made by any person, the same may be cleared by accepting the bond from the importer without actual payment of duty till a final decision on the said aspect is taken,” the Court ordered.

“Assurance has also been given to the Court that the customs shall clear all consignment of medicines of black fungus without any delay,” it noted.

Gangaram Hospital is in acute shortage of the vials, needed to cure Black Fungus. On last date, vials were given by AIIMS to Gangaram Hospital but as informed by the Counsel of Gangaram, the allocated vials were exhausted.

In the last hearing, the Bench had directed Gangaram to place before the Court the number of Black Fungus cases and how they were distributing the doses to the patients. The Court fixed June 1 as the next date of hearing. ILNS/KR/RJ

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