KARACHI   -  The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Friday issued a notification for tax exemp-tion on imports of 61 items used in the preparation of COVID-19 vaccines.

The federal cabinet had earlier given approval to exempt imports of 61 items used in the preparation of COVID-19 vaccine from taxes and duties on November 17. Sources said that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) took three days to issue the notification in this regards. The tax exemption will ensure availability of necessary medical equipment to the hospitals, besides expediting the preparation of the coronavirus vaccine and re-ducing its cost, sources added.

According to FBR officials, the importers will be given tax exemption till June 30 – 2021 to bring in the essential items related to the medication of novel corona-virus.

The commerce ministry had also issued a statutory notification (SRO) regarding the items. Sources said the FBR’s lack of interest was delaying the duty-free im-ports of the essential items which would be used for timely commencement of coronavirus vaccine and reducing its cost.

In another development, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved a technical supplementary grant for the advance purchases of COVID-19 vaccines.

The Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination sought $150 million funds from the federal government for advance booking of COVID-19 vaccines.