This Article is From Jun 12, 2021

GST Council Cuts Rates On COVID Supplies, No Tax On Black Fungus Medicine

GST Council Meeting, chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, reduced the tax rates on major COVID-related essential items, however, vaccines will continue to attract a five per cent GST

GST Council Meeting 2021: Finance Minister chaired the 44th GST Council virtually tomorrow

GST Council Meeting 2021: 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 today cut tax rates on most supplies and exempted the medicines for treating the black fungus infection off GST. The Council decided that tax cuts are valid till September 30, and can be extended further upon nearing the deadline. While most of the medicinal supplies got a tax cut, COVID vaccines will continue to attract a five per cent GST. (Also Read: GST Council Meet: Tax Cut On COVID Essentials, Black Fungus Medicine On Agenda )

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the 44th good and services tax (GST) council meeting on Saturday, June 12, in New Delhi through video conferencing. The details of the GST rates for COVID-relate essential supplies as decided by the GST Council today are as follows:

GST Rate Cuts On COVID-19 Medicines:

  • No tax will be levied on Amphotericin B, the medicine used to treat black fungus, which is a fungal disease that affects coronavirus patients. Tocilizumab -  a monoclonal antibody given to COVID-19 patients, is also exempted from GST

  • GST rates on anti-coagulants like heparin as well as Remdesivir - a drug for treating COVID-19, are reduced from 12 per cent to five per cent

  • The GST Council said that the tax rate on any other drug recommended by the health ministry and Department of Pharma (DoP) for treating COVID-19 is reduced from 12 per cent to five per cent

GST Rate Cuts On Oxygen Generation Equipments, Related Medical Devices:

The tax rates on medical grade oxygen, oxygen concentrator/generator, including personal imports, ventilators, ventilator masks /canula /helmet, BiPAP machine, and high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) device are reduced from 12 per cent to five per cent.

GST Rate Cuts On Testing Kits And Machines:

The tax rates on COVID-19 testing kits, and specified inflammatory diagnostic kits - D-Dimer, IL-6, Ferritin and LDH are reduced from 12 per cent to five per cent.

GST Rate Cuts On Other COVID-Related Relief Supplies:

  • The GST rates on pulse oximeters, including personal imports is reduced from 12 per cent to five per cent

  • The tax rate on hand sanitiser is reduced from 18 per cent to five per cent

  • The GST rate on temperature check equipment is decreased from 18 per cent to five per cent

  • Tax rates on gas/electric/other furnaces for the crematorium, including their installation are lowered from 18 per cent to five per cent

  • GST rates on ambulances are slashed from 28 per cent to 12 per cent.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the meeting was attended by Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Finance, along with finance ministers and senior officials of the states and union territories. The GST Council meeting today had a single-point agenda, deliberating on the recommendations made by the group of ministers.

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.