The GST Council slashed the tax rate on Covid medicines, oxygen concentrators, testing kits, and equipment
Tocilizumab and Amphotericin B, two key medications against Covid-19 and black fungus, have had their GST rates waived, while tax rates on 14 important pandemic relief commodities, such as testing kits and hand sanitizers, have been slashed to 5 per cent from normal rates of 12 percent to 18 per cent.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced these concessionary rates on Saturday, following a meeting of the GST Council to examine indirect taxes paid on Covid-19 supplies. Ambulances, which are now taxed at a rate of 28 percent, would now be subject to a GST charge of 12 percent. Tax on medical grade oxygen, oxygen concentrators, ventilators, BiPAP machines and High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC) devices has been cut to 5 per cent from 12 per cent
The rate on Remdesivir and anti-coagulants like Heparin are lowered from 12 per cent to 5 per cent. The Council recommends that the same tariff be used for any additional medicine indicated for Covid-19 therapy by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Department of Pharma.
Personal importation of oxygen concentrators and pulse oximeters will be subject to a 5 per cent GST. In addition, the 18 percent GST on hand sanitizers has been lowered to 5 per cent. Pulse oximeters, hand sanitizers, temperature-checking devices, and ambulances will all be exempt from the 5 per cent levy, as announced by the Finance Minister.