Published: 08th May 2021
SFI moves SC, asks GoI to remove Patents Act on vaccines, exempt GST on oxygen concentrates
The petition moved by the Students' Federation of India also asks the government to vaccinate everyone for free
The Students' Federation of India (SFI), the student body of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has moved a plea in the Supreme Court, asking the union government to vaccinate everyone free of cost and to exempt Goods and Services Tax on import of oxygen concentrates for personal use. The plea is expected to be heard on Monday.
Another prayer in the petition is to "Direct the central government to provide compulsory licenses under the relevant provisions of the Patent Act,1970, which will benefit vaccinating the citizen". Expanding on the point, the petition says, "If the provisions of section 92(3) of the Patent Act 1970 which enables the Controller to grant a compulsory patent is provided to several pharmaceutical companies, larger population of the country would be vaccinated at a faster pace which would help in controlling the spread of the pandemic."
Since the onset of the second wave of the pandemic, oxygen shortage was widely reported across the country. The plea states that the union government has imposed a 12 per cent GST on oxygen concentrates for personal use. "With the waiver of the Goods and Service tax on the import of oxygen concentrators for personal use, the same would be available to the citizens at a reduced cost and with the affordability, the citizens will have more accessibility which will save their lives," the petition reads.