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GST Council forms 8-member panel to examine tax exemption on Covid material

GST Council forms 8-member panel to examine tax exemption on Covid material_50.1

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has constituted a group of ministers (GoM) in order to decide on the rates of COVID-19 relief material. Currently, 5% GST is levied on domestically manufactured vaccines, while it is 12% for COVID drugs and oxygen concentrators. Alcohol-based sanitisers, hand wash, disinfectants and thermometers attract 18% GST.

An eight-member ministerial panel under the Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma to consider Goods and Services Tax (GST) exemptions on a range of Covid-19 essentials such as vaccines, drugs, testing kits and ventilators. The other members of the group of ministers (GoM) are Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitinbhai Patel, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, Goa transport minister Mauvin Godinho, Kerala finance minister KN Balagopal, Odisha finance minister Niranjan Pujari, Telangana finance minister T Harish Rao and UP finance minister Suresh Kumar Khanna. 

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In the 43rd meeting of the GST Council, the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said a ministerial panel will be constituted to decide on the rates on the vaccines and medical supplies. According to its terms of reference, the GoM will examine the need for GST concession or exemption on Covid vaccines, drugs and medicines for Covid treatment, testing kits for Covid detection, medical-grade oxygen, pulse oximeters, hand sanitisers, oxygen therapy instruments (concentrators, generators and ventilators), PPE kits, N95 masks, surgical masks, temperature checking thermometers and any other items required for Covid relief.

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