Pinarayi Vijayan, the chief minister of Kerala, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, requesting him to ask the finance ministry to not impose Customs responsibility and Integrated Goods and Services Tax on the life-saving drugs Zolgensma, used within the remedy of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), for a18-month-old Muhammed.

“I request you to give directions to the Union Finance Ministry to take steps not to levy Customs duty and Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) in this case involving import of the life-saving drug ‘Zolgensma’,” Vijayan wrote.

Muhammed’s family, who belong to Kerala’s Kannur district, were able to afford the medicine, that costs a whopping Rs18 crore, through an online crowdfunding initiative. A treatment committee, led by MLA M Vijin, was formed to help procure medicines for the 18-month-old whose parents cannot afford the expensive treatment. The treatment committee informed the public on Monday that crowdfunding efforts have led to the collection of the money required to buy the medicines.

Also Read: Crowdfunding raises 18 crore to deal with Kerala baby with uncommon genetic dysfunction

Vijayan in his letter urged the Prime Minister to waive off the GST in a way by which he had accomplished earlier than for five-month-old Teera Kamat, who was affected by the identical uncommon genetic situation.

“The price of the medicine which is Rs18 crore is proposed to be mobilised from willing persons and imported from USA. It is learnt from media reports that the Union Government had waived off taxes in a similar case of a 5 month old child who is suffering from SMA in Mumbai,” he wrote.

Muhammad, whose 15-year-old sister additionally suffers from SMA, should be administered the drugs earlier than he attains the age of two.


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