New Delhi, June 12 (UNI): The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Saturday reduced the GST rate on an array of medicines and equipment used in the treatment of Covid-19.
Along with this, the GST on medicines useful in treatment of black fungus was cut to zero.
The items on which rates were brought down include medicines such as Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, medical oxygen, oxygen generation equipment, and diagnostic and testing machine kits, masks, Covid testing kits, oximeters, hand sanitisers, cremation furnaces, ambulances, temperature checking devices.
The cuts are applicable till September 30.
The Council took the decisions at its 44th meeting chaired by Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
In the last meeting of the Council, a group of finance ministers of states was formed in this regard and Saturday’s decisions were taken according to the recommendations of the group.
After the meeting, Sitharaman told reporters that most of the recommendations of the Group of Ministers had been approved.
“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,” she said.
The GST on Tocilizumab and Amphotericin B used for treatment of black fungus has been reduced from less than five per cent to zero, she said.
She said GST on anti-coagulants like Heparin and Remdesivir has been reduced from 12% to 5%.
The GST rate on medicines approved by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Department of Pharma for Covid treatment would now be five per cent.
The finance minister said that the GST on Medical Grade Oxygen, Oxygen Concentrator/ Generator, including personal imports thereof, Ventilators, Ventilator masks / canula / helmet, BiPAP Machine, High flow nasal canula (HFNC) device, Covid Testing Kits, Specified Inflammatory Diagnostic Kits, namely D-Dimer, IL-6, Ferritin and LDH,
Pulse Oximeters, including personal imports thereof has been reduced from 12% to 5%. She said the GST on Hand Sanitizer, Temperature checking equipment, Gas/Electric/other furnaces for crematorium, including their installation, etc has been reduced from 18% to 5%.
Along with this, the GST on ambulances has been reduced from 28% to 12%.
Sitharaman, however, said that 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.