New Delhi [India], May 10 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday will hear a petition seeking an exemption of taxes on manufacturing machines for producing high-quality face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) kits.
The plea, which was filed by COVID-19 Protection Kit Manufacturers Association of India, through advocate Bharat Bhushan, will be heard by a division bench of Justices JR Midha and Anup Jairam Bhambhani.
The petitioner has challenged the notification dated April 9 by which exemptions have been provided for exemption from customs duty in the import of face masks, PPE kits and raw material for manufacturing them.
The association further said that the government did not include the machinery for the production of these items and is charging 25 per cent of customs duty on machinery which deter the manufacturers in upgrading or starting the production of face masks and PPE kits.
The petitioner has sought a direction to the respondent for exempting the manufacturing machine for developing high-quality face mask or PPE kits.
"When everyone is suffering from hard times due to the pandemic, the petitioner is willing to help the nation by not only contributing in the economy but also by providing the high-quality face masks at reasonable prices, by locally manufacturing the high-quality N-95 masks and PPE kits in India," read the plea.
"At present, there is a huge shortage of N-95 masks and PPE kits not only in India but in the entire world. The masks and PPE kits available in India are of very sub-standard quality as the high-quality masks and PPE kits cannot be manufactured without the help of high-end technical manufacturing machines," it said.
The petitioner said that the central government exempted the customs duty on import of face mask/PPE kits along with their inputs for manufacturing, but the Centre is charging 25 per cent customs duty along with health cess on mask and COVID-19 kits manufacturing machines, making hard for anybody who wishes to upgrade or start production of high-quality N-95 masks and PPE kits.
"The notification is not only against the spirit of 'Make in India' movement but will adversely affect the manufacturers of high-quality masks and PPE kits as being a cost-sensitive population, substandard cheap products will be chosen over high-quality products. Manufacturers will not able to compete because of the high cost of machines due to high customs duty," the plea said.
"In this manner, the government will put our doctors and health worriers on risk by providing sub-standard cheap masks and PPE kits," it stated. (ANI)