Under the supervision of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the Goods and Services Tax Council voted on Saturday to cut the GST rates for specific goods used in Covid-19 alleviation and management until September 30, 2021. The following are the major decisions made at the 44th GST Council meeting:
— The GST Council has agreed to keep the vaccine tax rate at 5%.
— The Council has reduced the tax rate on Covid-19 drugs including Remdesivir and medical grade oxygen concentrators.
—The GST rate on Tocilizumab and Amphotericin B has been reduced from 5% to 0%. The rate of Remdesivir and anticoagulants such as Heparin has been reduced from 12% to 5%.
—Medical grade oxygen, oxygen concentrators, ventilators, BiPAP machines, and high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) equipment are now taxed at 5% instead of 12%.
—The tax on Covid testing kits has been reduced from 12%to 5%.
—Pulse oximeters, hand sanitisers, temperature monitoring devices, and ambulances will all be taxed at a lower rate of 5%.
Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, as well as Finance Ministers of States and UTs and top officers from the Ministry of Finance and States/UTs, attended the meeting.