No GST on black fungus drugs, reduced tax on ambulances amid Covid, says Finance Minister Sitharaman

No GST on black fungus drugs, reduced tax on ambulances amid Covid, says Finance Minister Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday addressed the result of the 44th Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council will meet in New Delhi .

The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, besides finance ministers of states and Union territories and senior officers from Union government and states on Friday where they discussed rate rationalisation on COVID-19 related goods.

Sitharaman, in her news conference , said that GST Council had approved all recommendations of GoM on rate rationalisation. She added that GST rates are decided for 4 categories of products- medicines, oxygen, oxygen-generation equipment, testing kits and other machines and other COVID-19 related relief material.

She said that the council has cut tax for medicines on mucormycosis, widely referred to as black fungus, to nil. These include Tocilizumbab, Amphotericin B medicines. GST rates on the required items getting used in COVID-19 relief and management till 30th September 2021.

She also said that GST on ambulances are going to be reduced to 12% from 28%. However, Sitharam added that fifty GST on vaccines will stay. The Centre will buy the 75% vaccine as announced and can pay its GST too. But 70% of income from GST are going to be shared with States.

GST on electric furnaces and temperature checking equipment brought right down to 5% and on ambulances to 12%. These rates are going to be valid till September as against August end recommended by the GoM, Sitharaman said.

At its meeting on May 28, the GST Council had recommended full exemption from IGST on variety of specified COVID-19 related goods like medical oxygen, oxygen concentrators, and other oxygen storage and transportation equipment, certain diagnostic markers test kits, and COVID-19 vaccines albeit imported on payment basis for donating to the govt or on the advice of state authority to any relief agency.

Currently, 5% GST is levied on domestically manufactured vaccines, while it's 12% for COVID drugs and oxygen concentrators.

As regards individual items, the GST Council decided to constitute a gaggle of Ministers (GoM) "to enter the necessity for further relief to COVID-19 related individual items immediately".

The Council also decided to scale back the compliance burden of small taxpayers and medium-sized taxpayers and recommended an amnesty scheme for reducing late fee payable, to supply relief to small taxpayers.


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