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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 25 September 2021 2.46 AM IST

GST Council cuts tax rate on Covid essentials; new rates valid till September 30

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NEW DELHI: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday that recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM) set up to look into tax relief on Covid-19 medical supplies have been accepted by the GST Council. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate has been reduced from 12 percent earlier to 5 percent now on Covid testing kits, medical grade oxygen and ventilators.

For ambulances, the GST rate has been reduced from 28 percent to 12 percent and for hand sanitsers from 18 percent to 5 percent. These rates will be valid till September 30. Temperature check equipment will now attract 5 percent GST, earlier it was 18 percent. The GST rate on pulse oximeters, including personal imports, has been reduced to 5 percent from earlier 12 percent.

The GST rates on specified inflammatory diagnostic kits has dropped to 5 percent from 12 percent and rates on gas/electric/other furnaces for crematorium including their installation has been cut to 5 percent from 18 percent earlier. The GST Council has decided not to impose any GST on Covid-19 related drugs -- Tocilizumab and Amphotericin B. Earlier the rate was 5 percent.

Rates on anti-coagulants like Heparin and Remdesivir have been reduced to 5 per cent from 12 percent. Any other drug recommended by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Department of Pharma (DoP) for Covid treatment will now attract 5 percent tax. The GST Council also gave relief on ventilator masks/canula/helmet reducing tax to 5 percent from 12 percent, for BiPAP machine to 5 percent from 12 percent and for high flow nasal canula (HFNC) device to 5 percent from 12 per cent.

"These rates will be valid till September as against August-end recommended by the GoM," said Sitharaman while addressing a press conference after the meeting of the GST Council. "Based on the advice and also from states' input whether that period has to be further extended will be taken as a call nearer the time and the GIC will probably take the responsibility of eliciting the opinions, taking inputs of political leadership and meeting to take a final word on whether the extension should be furthered after September," said Sitharaman.

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