Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman chaired the 44th GST Council meeting today. During the meeting, the council decided to accept the recommendations of the Group of Ministers and offer tax relief on Covid-19 essentials and Black Fungus medicine.
It has been decided during the meeting that tax on medicines, some hospital equipment and other items that are essential to combat COVID-19 has been reduced by the Goods and Services Tax Council.
No tax will be levied on medicines like the monoclonal antibody Tocilizumab and Amphotericin B, used for treating Black Fungus, an opportunistic fungal disease that affects people infected with Covid.
The tax cuts announced today are valid till September 30, and may be extended further beyond the deadline.
Tax of 5 percent will continue to be charged on Covid vaccines.
No change has been announced on the GST rate of some items namely RT-PCR machines, RNA extraction machines and genome sequencing machines. GST of 12 percent is levied on Genome sequencing kits and this will continue.
Besides, there is no tax cut announced on raw material for Covid testing kits.
Other medicines on which GST has been reduced include anti-coagulants like Heparin (from 12 percent to 5 percent), Remdesivir (from 12 percent to 5 percent) and any drug recommended by the Health Ministry for Covid treatment (from the applicable current rate to 5 percent).
Tax reduction has been announced in between 12 percent to 5 on medical grade oxygen, oxygen concentrator and generator including personal import, ventilator, ventilator masks, Bipap machine and high-flow nasal cannula device.
5 percent GST will be charged on all Covid testing kits, it was earlier 12 percent. Specified inflammatory diagnostic kits like D-Dimer, IL-6, Ferritin and LDH will also attract 5 percent GST.