The 44th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council was held on Saturday under Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. In this, the Council, rejecting the demand of many states to make the corona vaccine tax-free, has retained five per cent GST on it.
However, following the recommendations of the Group of Ministers on relief material related to Corona, the Council has reduced the tax on many other things while making the black fungus medicine tax free.
Five per cent GST will continue on Corona vaccine- Sitharaman.
After the meeting, Sitharaman said that it had been decided to retain the five per cent GST on the vaccine. The central government is procuring 75 per cent of the vaccine and is also paying GST on it, but when it is given free of cost to the general public through government hospitals, it will not affect the public. Similarly, states like Delhi, West Bengal and Orissa had demanded tax-free vaccine.
GST abolished from black fungus medicine
Sitharaman said that ‘Tocilizumab’ and ‘Amphotericin B’, used in the treatment of black fungus, have been made tax-free. This will bring great relief to the people.
Earlier, five per cent GST was being charged on these medicines by the government. Similarly, given the increasing demand for ambulances in the country, the council has reduced the GST from 28 per cent to 12 per cent now.
The GST Council has also made a significant cut in the tax rate on other relief materials related to Corona in the meeting. The council has made medical grade oxygen, oxygen concentrator, ventilator, BiPAP machine, high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) and COVID testing kit affordable. The earlier 12 per cent GST tax on all these has been reduced to five per cent. Similarly, the tax on Remdesivir has also been reduced from 12 to 5 per cent.
The GST Council has reduced the GST from 18 per cent on electric furnaces, temperature testing equipment and hand sanitisers to just five per cent. With this, now the access of people to these things will also be more accessible than before.
A Group of Ministers was constituted in the GST Council meeting held on 28 May. Which was asked to give recommendations for the rate at which GST should be charged on relief material related to Corona.
The Group of Ministers, headed by Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, submitted its recommendations to the government on June 8. It was said to give discounts on items like medical oxygen, pulse oximeter, hand sanitisers and ventilators.