New Delhi, June 12: The GST Council on Saturday decided to cut tax rates on a number of items crucial in the fight against Covid-19. These include essential medicines, oxygen generation equipment, pulse oximeters and diagnostic and testing machine kits.
These GST cuts were recommended by the Group of Ministers (GoM), formed after the last GST Council meet on May 28, to deliberate on possible reductions in Covid-related items.
Briefing reporters, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the recommendations of the GoM had been accepted.
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.
Here are 10 key points you need to know about the revised rates:
> No tax will be levied on Tocilizumab and Amphotericin B, the medicines used to treat black fungus.
> GST rates on anti-coagulants like heparin as well as Remdesivir -- a drug used for treating Covid-19 -- reduced from 12 per cent to 5 per cent
> Tax on medical-grade oxygen, oxygen concentrators, ventilators, BiPAP machines and high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) devices has been cut from 12 per cent to 5 per cent.
> GST on electric furnaces and temperature-checking equipment brought down to 5 per cent
> GST on ambulances reduced to 12 per cent.
> Tax on Covid testing kits has been brought down to 5 per cent from 12 per cent.
> Pulse oximeters, hand sanitisers to be charged 5 per cent lower tax
> The GST Council decided to retain 5 per cent GST on Covid vaccines.
> The new rates will be valid till September.
> Centre will buy 75 per cent vaccines, as planned, and pay GST too. Additionally, 70 per cent of income from GST will be shared with states.