Senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday urged the Centre to waive off GST on personal protection equipment (PPE) kits and demanded price control through uniform pricing policy. Speaking to reporters here, Chavan, who heads the Maharashtra Congress’ task force on COVID-19, said the GST on PPE kits, which is 12 to 18 per cent, should be waived off completely or be kept at a minimum five per cent.
A policy for supply of PPE and N95 masks to private doctors and hospitals should also be outlined, he said, adding that the government must specify a standard operating procedure (SOP) for inclusion of private medical professionals in the fight against COVID-19. The state government must also ensure availability of ambulances, beds and ICUs for patients suffering from other ailments, especially in rural Maharashtra.
The former Chief Minister said the government must come up with a policy for expectant mothers during the lockdown period. The state Congress task force has also suggested waiving off electricity charges for six months for the agriculture sector and also recommended crop loan and term loan waivers, he said. Chavan said the panel had submitted its first report on health and availability of food to state unit president Balasaheb Thorat. The second report of the task force will focus on strategy for lifting the lockdown and economic revival, he added.