Highlights of  44th GST Council Meeting

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Highlights of  44th GST Council Meeting

The Goods and Service Tax (GST) council held its 44th GST council meeting, via video conferencing, on 18th June 2021. The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.  The council rationalized rates on the specified items being used in Covid-19 relief and management based on recommendations from a Group of Ministers formed in its previous 43rd GST Council Meeting. The reductions and exemptions in GST rates will remain in effect till 30th September 2021. The key recommendations made by the GST council, during the meeting, are highlighted in the present article.

Key Highlights of  44th GST Council Meeting

The Goods and Service Tax Council slashed the GST rates on several items crucial in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The Goods and Service Tax rate on ventilators, medical oxygen, COVID-19 testing kits, oxygen concentrators, BiPAP machine, and several other COVID essentials have been bought down to 5%.
  • The new GST rate on the specified items will remain in effect till 30th September 2021

GST rates on Key COVID-19 Items

The Goods and Service Tax Council, in its meeting on June 12, slashed the GST rates on several items crucial in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. As mentioned above, these cuts are applicable till September 30.

  • These include essential medicines, oxygen, oxygen generation equipment and related devices, and diagnostic and testing machine kits.
  • The items on which rate cuts were made include Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, medical-grade oxygen, oxygen generator, ventilators, masks, COVID testing kits, oximeters, hand sanitizers, cremation furnaces, ambulances, temperature checking devices, and others

5% GST on COVID-19 vaccines

  • The vaccines are currently charged a GST of 5 percent as per the recommendation of the 43rd GST Council Meeting. Despite a strong demand for the vaccine, the GoM did not recommend any changes in the tax rates for Covid-19 vaccines.
    • There will be no change in the GST rate for COVID-19 vaccines.
    • The COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be taxed under the GST regime at 5 percent.
    • The Centre Government will buy the 75 percent vaccine as announced and will pay its GST too. But 70 percent of income from GST will be shared with state Governments.

GST on Covid & Black Fungus Medicines

  • The GST Council has approved rate reduction for Remdesivir from 12% to 5% and a nil tax would be charged on Tocilizumab
  • No GST would be levied on Amphotericin B, the antifungal drug used for black fungus treatment, Finance MInister announced following the 44th GST Council Meeting.
  • The 44th GST Council Meeting announced that the GST on anti-coagulants like Heparin has been reduced to 5 percent from 12 percent at present.

Note. The council also announced that the tax rate on any other drug recommended by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Department of Pharma (DoP) for Covid treatment would also be capped at 5 percent.

The details of recommendations 44th GST Council Meeting are given below:

Sl. No. Medicines Present GST Rate GST Rate recommended by GST Council
1. Tocilizumab 5% Nil
2. Amphotericin B 5% Nil
3. Anti-Coagulants like Heparin 12% 5%
4. Remdesivir 12% 5%
5. Any other drug recommended by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Dept. of Pharma (DoP) for Covid treatment

Applicable Rate

 

5%

GST on Oxygen, Oxygen generation Equipment and Related Medical Devices

Medical grade oxygen has been in high demand since the second wave of Covid infections swept the country. This crucial gas will now be taxed at 5 percent instead of 12 percent.

Sl.No. Description Present GST Rate GST Rate recommended by GST Council
1. Medical Grade Oxygen 12% 5%
2. Oxygen Concentrator/ Generator, including personal imports thereof 12% 5%
3. Ventilators 12% 5%
4. Ventilator masks / canula / helmet 12% 5%
5. BiPAP Machine 12% 5%
6. High flow nasal cannula (HFNC) device 12% 5%

Oxygen concentrator or generator, including personal imports thereof, ventilators, ventilator masks, canula or helmet, BiPAP machines, and High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC) device will also attract 5 percent tax instead of 12 percent.

GST on COVID Testing kits and Machine

GST rate on Covid testing kits as well as a specified inflammatory diagnostic has been reduced to five percent from 12% at present, as per the press release issued by the Finance Ministry following the 44th GST Council meeting.

Sl.No. Testing Kits and Machines Present GST Rate GST Rate recommended by GST Council
1. Covid Testing Kits 12% 5%
2. Specified Inflammatory Diagnostic Kits, namely D-Dimer, IL-6, Ferritin, and LDH 12% 5%

 Other Covid Relief Items

  • Pulse oximeters, even those imported for personal use, will see a GST rate of 5 percent compared to the original 12 percent.
  • The tax rate for hand sanitizers and temperature checking equipment has been reduced from 18 percent to 5 percent.
  • Gas, electric or other furnaces for a crematorium and their installation will see GST charged at 5 percent instead of earlier 18 percent.
  • Ambulances have been taken out of the exorbitant 28 percent tax slab and placed in the comparatively nominal 12 percent slab.

The details of recommendations 44th GST Council Meeting are given below:

. No.

Description

Other Covid-19 related relief material

Present GST Rate GST Rate recommended by GST Council
1. Pulse Oximeters, including personal imports thereof 12% 5%
2. Hand Sanitizer 18% 5%
3. Temperature check equipment 18% 5%
4. Gas/Electric/other furnaces for the crematorium, including their installation, etc. 18% 5%
5. Ambulances 28% 12%

Click here to get the public notice issued by the Ministry of Finance regarding  the recommendations of the 44th GST Council Meeting

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Renu is experience content writer specialised in compliances and company rules.