The revenue board authority has exempted value added tax (VAT) on personal protective equipment (PPE) and surgical mask as part of its measures to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
The VAT wing of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) on Wednesday issued a statutory regulatory order exempting VAT on these items in manufacturing and import stage.
"We offered the waiver to cut manufacturing and supply cost of safety items and help tackle the coronavirus outbreak," said a senior NBR official.
Earlier, the revenue board also waived all kinds of regulatory duty, supplementary duty, customs duty, advanced tax, advanced income tax and VAT on coronavirus safety kits and raw materials to speed up their import.
The items include soapy alcohol, PPE, raw materials for hand sanitisers, coronavirus testing kits, surgical masks, and disinfectants.
NBR sources said previously, 15 percent VAT was imposed on PPE and surgical mask in both manufacturing and import stage. Now, consumers are exempted from it.
Following the Covid-19 outbreak, commoners rushed to markets to buy safety equipment, causing a scarcity of supply. Many hospitals and doctors complained that there is a shortage of PPE such as gowns and surgical masks.