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44th GST Council Meet: GST Cut for Medicines, Oxygen, Tests; Vaccines GST Unchanged at 5% 

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Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the 44th GST Council Meeting

The 44th Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council met virtually under the Chairmanship of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. As per the group of ministers (GoM) recommendations, the Council has reduced the GST rates on the specified items that are being used in COVID-19 relief and management till September 30, 2021.

Change in GST Rates on Medicines:

 

S.No

 

Description

 

Present GST Rate

Rate recommended by GST Council
1. Tocilizumab 5% Nil
2. Amphotericin B 5% Nil
3. Remdesivir 12% 5%
4. Anti-Coagulants like Heparin 12% 5%
 

5.

Any other drug recommended by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Dept. of Pharma (DoP) for COVID-19 treatment  

Applicable Rate

 

5%


Note – The drugs Tocilizumab and Amphotericin B, which are exempted from GST are used to treat mucormycosis — black fungus.

Change in GST Rates on other goods:

i.The council has left the GST rates on Vaccines unchanged at 5 percent as the Centre is paying for 75 percent of the vaccines along with GST, which are given to citizens free of cost (Vaccines at private hospitals will have GST).

ii.GST rate on – Medical Grade Oxygen, Oxygen Concentrator/ Generator, Ventilators, BiPAP Machine, High flow nasal cannula (HFNC) device, Covid Testing Kits, Pulse Oximeters, etc. has been cut by the council from 12 percent to 5 percent.

iii.The council has reduced the GST rate on – Hand Sanitizer, Temperature check equipment, Gas/Electric/other furnaces for the crematorium, etc. from 18 percent to 5 percent. GST on Ambulance also reduced to 12 percent from 28 percent.

Background:

The GST Council constituted an 8-member GoM convened by Conrad Kongkal Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya, to examine the need for GST concession/exemption on a range of Covid-19 essentials and make recommendations on the GST rates of COVID-19 relief material. The GoM submitted its report on June 7, 2021. Click here to know more

Participants:

The meeting was also attended by the Union 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.

Recent Related News:

The Finance Ministry has set up a 7-member GoM to better understand, examine, and resolve the uncertainty over the valuation of services by casinos, race courses, and online gaming companies for levying GST.

About GST Council and GST:

i.GST Council is a federal body formed on 15th September 2016 under Article 279A of the Constitution.
ii.The Council is headed by the union finance minister (Current- Nirmala Sitharaman) assisted by the finance minister of all the states of India. It will make recommendations to the Union and the States on important issues related to GST.
iii.GST, an indirect tax was implemented in India on 1 July 2017, India’s GST is based on the Canadian model. France was the 1st country to implement the GST in 1954.
iv.Assam was the 1st state to implement the GST.