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Govt slashes GST rates on Covid items


NEW DELHI, JUNE 12, 2021

The GST Council on Saturday decided to slash rates of several Covid-relief items to 5 per cent from existing 12-18 per cent levels.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the council agreed to go with the recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM).

Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman chairing the 44th GST Council meeting, through videoconferencing, in New Delhi on June 12, 2021. The Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Anurag Singh Thakur is also seen.`

The Minister said that while rate of tax on various Covid relief medical items has been reduced, no change had been made in 5 per cent GST rate on vaccines.

As part of Covid relief measures, the 44th meeting of the GST Council reduced GST rate on Remdesivir to 5 per cent from 12 per cent and that of medical grade oxygen to 5 per cent.

The council also reduced the rates on Amphotericin B, medicine used for black fungus and brought it to nil level exempting 5 per cent rate.

The tax rate on Tocilizumab, used for treatment of Covid-19 has also been waived off. The previous tax rate was 5 per cent.

The rate on anti-coagulants like Heparin has also been slashed to 5 per cent.

The council also decided that the tax rate on any other drug recommended by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Department of Pharma (DoP) for Covid treatment, would be kept at 5 per cent.

GST on medical grade oxygen, oxygen concentrator, generators, including personal imports, ventilators, BiPAP Machines and high flow nasal canula device has been reduced from 12 per cent to 5 per cent.

Rates of pulse oximeters, hand sanitisers, temperature check equipment, gas, electric or other furnaces for crematorium, including their installation among others have also been reduced to 5 per cent.

Now, Covid testing kits too would be taxed at 5 per cent, against the previous rate of 12 per cent.

The GST rate on ambulances has been reduced to 12 per cent from the previous 28 per cent.

The special duty cuts would be applicable till September 30, 2021.

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