Dear Finance Minister, cc: @PMOIndia
In the midst of an unprecedented calamity, you have dropped #GST on imports of #COVID-19 vaccines & other items such as medical oxygen

But you added some problematic caveats to restrict such imports

Long Thread.. 1/n…
The notification states this tax exemption will only be for material 'received free of cost for free distribution anywhere in India for COVID relief’
@NITIAayog CEO & Revenue Secy then met State Chief Secretaries & asked them 2 appoint nodal officers to certify such imports 2/n
"..Entities desirous of importing COVID relief material for free distribution may approach State nodal authorities for certification’.
So global donors would need to register with individual States where they wish to route relief material, creating a cornucopia of red tape
“This is in response to representations from charitable organisations, corporates & entities outside India seeking exemption from paying IGST on the import of Covid-19 relief material,” @FinMinIndia said.

So domestic corporates/charities can't avail this relief at all.

.@HUL_News is importing 2400 oxygen concentrators from around the world, and footing the bill to distribute it free here. They won't get any #GST relief. @vkhosla is donating millions to @GiveIndia 4 COVID-relief, but if spent on importing relief stuff, there's no GST waiver
When I covered Sebi in a past life, a board member once told me on the Participatory Notes controversy, "All money coming into the country shd be considered green. Not coloured by origin or ultimate beneficiary as it is growth capital for our country irrespective of either" 6/N
The same holds true for all aid possible right now to help us ease the country's escalating 'suffering' as @udaykotak has boldly put it. Whether it's Mukeshbhai, Gautambhai or even Niravbhai offering aid now, we should be open & expedite its transit while minimising costs. 7/N
There is absolutely no conscionable logic at this hour to discriminate between Indians trying to help by any means possible, including through imports or foreign e-commerce portals to buy oxygen concentrators & foreigners helping buy such stuff for us.
If my nephew creates a @ketto fund for importing COVID vaccines for those without @UIDAI , or @sundarpichai offers oxygen cylinders from Menlo Park funded by @Google staffers, there is no reason they should be taxed differently.

even if we leave that aside for a second,
The red tape norms u have set for foreign donors may scare them away from trying to get this GST sop in all likelihood. 'The importer shall before Customs clearance of goods produce a certificate from said nodal authorities that goods r meant 4 free distribution for #Covid'
'After imports, importer shall produce to the Customs Commissionerate at the port within 6-9 months, a simple statement containing details of goods imported & distributed free. This shall b certified by nodal State authority'
Will Mr Khosla/Pichai really run around 4 this?

To be fair, you have urged State Governments, importers, relief agencies, to approach the customs formation in case they face any difficulty, and sensitised them to clear such material speedily. But you claim..
'A large number of such consignments are anticipated to arrive in the coming days & some may be pending for clearance as on date.'
This may not hold true, at least for GST relief purposes. Pls don't make global/local donors go thru hoops when u are clearly unable to help
You have been claiming Customs have been told to clear COVID-material asap for a while. Today, you said Delhi HC mention abt 3K oxygen concentrators stuck with customs is untrue. Then how is it that this #GST exemption covers goods already imported but not cleared by Customs
Your instruction to field formations of Customs on the GST exemption itself suggests some consignments may be pending for clearance as on date!
Last week, you allowed import of oxygen concentrators for personal use without paying customs duties, but 28% GST was payable... 15/n
Next day, you said, the GST payable will be 12% for such imports, but the concessional rate will b valid till Jun 30 while personal imports are allowed duty-free till July 31. What if I order a concentrator in June & it reaches Customs on July 1?
All I am trying to say...
... is Please, Pretty Please, with Sugar on Top, Think Through Your Actions before U Act for the sake of headlines/optics. Unintended consequences r often worse than your casually noble intent
You wanted us to b #AtmaNirbhar, we truly are now. But this is just salt on our wounds!

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Vikas Dhoot

Vikas Dhoot Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @tragicosmicomic

2 May
India Inc has urged the Govt. to deploy the armed forces & central security forces to manage the logistics, infrastructure & personnel necessary to address the rising wave of COVID-19 cases, warning that the requirement for hospital beds, oxygen & medicines will continue to rise.
"At this critical juncture when toll of lives is rising, @FollowCII urges the strongest national steps including curtailing economic activity to reduce suffering," CII president Uday Kotak said, in what are the 1st remarks by an industry lobby in favour of a stringent lockdown.
Calling for the highest level response measures to the current crisis, Mr Kotak said, “Given the current pandemic situation, safeguarding lives is of utmost priority and nationwide maximal response measure at the highest level is called for to cut the transmission links...
Read 9 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!