Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced series of GST relief measures for Covid-19 relief essentials, including black fungus medicine. However, the Council agreed to stick to 5% GST on vaccines.
In its 44th meeting on Saturday, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, approved all recommendations of GoM on rate rationalisation.
The GoM, set up by the Council on May 28, was mandated to look at tax exemption and concessions on various Covid items including vaccines, drugs, and equipment.
GST on ambulances has been reduced to 12% from current 28%. GST Council slashed tax rate from 12% to 5% on medical grade oxygen, BiPaP machines, oxygen concentrators, ventilators, hand sanitisers, temperature check equipment, high flow nasal cannula, pulse oximeter. Also, tax on Covid testing kits has been brought down to 5% from 12%. “Today’s meeting was a single-agenda meeting on the Group of Ministers which was constituted in last GST Council meeting to come up with recommendations on tax relief for Covid-19 essentials,” said Finance Minister.
“5% GST on vaccines will stay. The Centre will buy the 75% vaccine as announced and will pay its GST too. But 70% of income from GST will be shared with states,” added Sitharaman.
“While GST on Tocilizumab and Amphotericin B is slashed to nil from 5%, the rate on Remdesivir and anti-coagulants like Heparin is lowered from 12% to 5%,” she said at a press conference in New Delhi.
“GST on electric furnaces and temperature checking equipment brought down to 5% and on ambulances to 12%. These rates will be valid till September as against August end recommended by the GoM,” said Sitharaman on the outcome of 44th GST Council meet.
GST rates have been decided for 4 categories of products- medicines, oxygen, oxygen-generation equipment, testing kits and other machines and other Covid-related relief material, she said.