The Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council has decided to reduce the GST rates on specified items being used in Covid-19 relief and management till 30th September 2021.
Oxygen, oxygen generation equipment and related medical devices, testing kits and machines will carry 5% GST against the existing 12%.
Pulse oximeters, including personal imports, hand sanitizers, temperature check equipment, gas, electric and other furnaces for crematoriums, including their installation, etc, ambulances will carry 5% GST.
Tocilizumab, and Amphotericin B drugs will have no GST.
Anti-coagulants like Heparin, Remdesivir, any other drug recommended by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Dept. of Pharma (DoP) for Covid treatment will also carry 5% GST.
The decision of the GST council came in the midst of of a plea that is pending in the Supreme Court seeking to lift the GST on key drugs such as Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, Favipiravir, and other drugs with a similar generic constitution. It had also sought the lifting of GST on medical grade oxygen, oxygen concentrators, ventilators and BiPAP machines. The plea had been drawn by advocates Nipun Saxena and Mantika Haryani and filed through Advocate-on-Record (AoR) Astha Sharma with senior advocate Indira Jaising arguing the matter.
Besides, many state governments had also demanded the lifting of GST on Covid19 equipment.
The article was originally published in The Leaflet.