High Court directs Centre to supply 490 MT oxygen to Delhi on Saturday or face contempt
New Delhi, May 01: The Delhi High Court directed the Centre to supply 490 metric tonne of allocated oxygen to the national capital on Saturday itself, or face contempt.
The court took note of eight deaths in Batra Hospital due to lack of oxygen supply and told the government 'enough is enough'.
"Do you mean we will shut our eyes to the people dying in Delhi," it asked the Centre. "We mean business. Water has gone above the head," the court said and declined to defer its order. The court said the government had made an allocation of oxygen to Delhi and should fulfill it.
Meanwhile, the government has allowed imports of oxygen concentrators for personal use through post, courier or e-commerce portals under the gift category amid increasing demand for oxygen due to rising COVID-19 cases, the commerce ministry said on Saturday.
The exemption for oxygen concentrators is allowed only for a period till July 31, 2021, it said. As per the guidelines, gifts over Rs 1,000 attract Customs Duty and 28 per cent integrated GST.
An oxygen concentrator is a medical device that concentrates oxygen from ambient air. It is in high demand due to increasing COVID-19 cases in the country. These concentrators capture and filter the air, unlike oxygen cylinders which can only store a fixed amount of oxygen.
"The government has included the import of oxygen concentrators for personal use, through post, courier or e-commerce portals, in the list of exempted categories, where Customs clearance is sought as gifts," the ministry said.
Earlier, oxygen concentrators were not mentioned in the list. Now, it has been added on account of its high demand due to COVID-19 cases.