Based on the recommendations of the group of ministers (GoM), constituted to deliberate on the tax rates of COVID-related essential items, the GST Council on Saturday slashed the tax rate on coronavirus medicines such as Remdesivir and equipment like oxygen concentrators and medical grade oxygen.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the 44th good and services tax (GST) council meeting on Saturday morning through video conferencing. The meeting was also attended by Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Anurag Thakur besides Finance Ministers of States & UTs and senior officers of the Ministry of Finance & States/ UTs.
While GST on Tocilizumab and Amphotericin B is slashed to nil from 5 per cent, the rate on Remdesivir and anti-coagulants like Heparin is lowered from 12 per cent to 5 per cent. The Council stated that tax cuts are valid till September 30, and can be extended further upon nearing the deadline.
Tax on medical grade oxygen, oxygen concentrators, ventilators, BiPAP machines and high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) devices has been cut to 5 per cent from 12 per cent, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Also, tax on Covid testing kits has been brought down to 5 per cent from 12 per cent.
Pulse oximeters, hand sanitisers, temperature check equipment and ambulances too will attract lower 5 per cent tax, she said.
The details of recommendations are given below:
|S. No.||Description||Present GST Rate||GST Rate recommended by GST Council|
|3.||Anti-Coagulants like Heparin||12%||5%|
|5.||Any other drug recommended by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Dept. of Pharma (DoP) for Covid treatment||Applicable Rate||5%|
|Oxygen, Oxygen generation equipment and related medical devices|
|1.||Medical Grade Oxygen||12%||5%|
|2.||Oxygen Concentrator/ Generator, including personal imports thereof||12%||5%|
|4.||Ventilator masks / canula / helmet||12%||5%|
|6.||High flow nasal canula (HFNC) device||12%||5%|
|Testing Kits and Machines|
|1.||Covid Testing Kits||12%||5%|
|2.||Specified Inflammatory Diagnostic Kits, namely D-Dimer, IL-6, Ferritin and LDH||12%||5%|
|Other Covid-19 related relief material|
|1.||Pulse Oximeters, incl personal imports thereof||12%||5%|
|3.||Temperature check equipment||18%||5%|
|4.||Gas/Electric/other furnaces for crematorium, including their installation, etc.||18%||5%|
In its previous meeting on May 28, the GST Council referred the decision over the tax rates on COVID vaccines to a group of ministers (GoM). The GST Council meeting will discuss the report of the GOM, headed by Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, on GST concessions on COVID-19 essential items, and decide on the final GST rates.
The 43rd GST council meeting on May 28 was conducted after a gap of almost eight months. The earlier one – 42nd GST Council meeting, was held last year, on October 5, 2020.
(With PTI Inputs)