New Delhi: The health ministry on Thursday refuted reports that oxygen concentrators are pending at the customs warehouse for getting clearance from the customs authorities.
The news is totally incorrect, not based on facts and without any basis, it said.
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has clarified that there is no such pendency with the Customs. The Customs is swiftly clearing all consignments and no such figures of pendency exist across any port of import.
In all, 3000 oxygen concentrators have been received from various countries as global aid to support efforts of the Indian Government and the States and the Union Territories. in their collective fight against the global pandemic.
Of these Mauritius has sent 200 oxygen concentrators, Russia (20), UK has sent in four consignments (95+120+280+174), 80 from Romania, 700 from Ireland, Thailand (30), China (1000) and Uzbekistan (151). In addition, Taiwan has sent 150. The oxygen concentrators are either delivered to the identified tertiary care institutions, or been dispatched for delivery. The relief material has been dispatched through road and air too. There are no oxygen concentrators lying in the warehouse of the Customs Department, it was clarified.
The Customs department is sensitive to the need for availability of COVID related imports including Oxygen & Oxygen related equipment etc., and is working 24 x 7 to fast track and clear the goods on arrival. They are given high priority for clearance by the Customs over other goods. While the Nodal Officers get alerts on email for monitoring and clearance, monitoring by senior officers for pendency of COVID related imports is also being undertaken.
Recently the matter regarding a consignment of 3,000 Oxygen Concentrators lying with the Customs Authorities came up in the Delhi High Court and the same was clarified by the Government Counsel that presently no such consignment is pending with the customs authorities.
The Ministry of Finance also clarified the matter through an official release on May 3 in response to reports on social media that 3,000 Oxygen Concentrators were lying with the Customs.
The Ministry stated, "We have again checked with our field formations and there is no such consignment lying with the Customs. However, since a photograph has also been put on Twitter, if anybody has information as to where it is lying, the same may be informed to us and we will take immediate action."