GST Council Lowers Rates On COVID Items Till September: Check List

Finance Ministry - GST Rates On COVID-19-related Items Slashed: Check List - Sakshi Post

NEW DELHI: The GST Council has mostly accepted the recommendations of the Group of Ministers constituted to look into extending the scope of GST concessions and lowering the rates on COVID treatment-related medical devices and drugs.

Speaking to the media in New Delhi on Saturday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that the GST Council has agreed to completely exempt antifungal drug (Blackfungus) Amphotericin - B and antiviral drug Tocilizumab from any kind of GST. Imports of Amphotericin B had been exempted from integrated GST by the council on May 28.

-GST on another critical drug Remdesivir, used in the treatment of COVID patients has been reduced from 12 percent to 5 percent.

-GST on anticoagulant Heparin and any other specified drug recommended by the Health Ministry for COVID-related treatment will stand reduced at 5 percent.

-GST on medical-grade Oxygen, Oxygen generation equipment and related medical devices lowered from the existing 12 percent to five percent in order to extend relief to the people.

-COVID testing kits, Pulse Oximeters, Temperature checking equipment, and hand sanitisers would also now cost cheaper as GST on them have been reduced to 5 percent.

-The Council also agreed to cut down GST on Ambulances from existing 28 percent to 12 percent.

-Electric and gas furnaces for crematoriums reduced from 18 percent to five percent.

-It left the rate of vaccines unchanged at 5%. The finance minister said people will not be paying any tax on vaccinations under the procurement plan announced by the government since they are being procured by the Centre.

They will be provided free to all states for inoculation however with the Centre paying GST on them at about Rs 71 of every Rs 100 will be paid to the states, she said. A 5% GST rate ensures that they can utilise input tax credit (ITC), she had said.

The GST Council also extended the timeline of exemptions and GST reductions on COVID-related equipment and drugs till September 30th this year. The GoM had suggested that the lowered rates prevail until August end, but the council pushed it to September 30, the Finance Minister said. The GST Implementation Committee will look at further extending the end date based on advice and state inputs.

Also Read: Bharat Biotech's Covaxin Fails To Get USFDA Approval For Even Emergency Use

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