On Friday, the GST council extended the GST exemption till August 31, on the import of Covid-related equipment. This action also assists in increasing the availability of critical equipment required in the treatment of Covid-19.
The GST Council has also kept Amphotericin-B under the Covid-related equipment. These are used in the treatment of mucormycosis or black fungus.
Earlier, Nirmala Sitharaman had ruled out exempting Covid medicines, vaccines, and oxygen concentrators from GST. She said that exempting these will make the lifesaving items costlier for manufacturers as well as consumers.
However, commercial imports of vaccines and domestic supplies incur a 5 percent GST while oxygen concentrators and Covid drugs attract a 12 percent levy.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “Issues of Covid-related equipment was one of the items on the agenda that had a very detailed discussion. Many issues were raised and discussed. The GST Council has decided to exempt the import of relief items till August 31.”
Additionally, she added to her statement that the central government will borrow Rs 1.58 lakh crore to compensate states for revenue loss. The GST Council will hold special a session to discuss extending paying compensation to states beyond 2022.”