The Goods and Service Tax Council Saturday decided to lower rates on medicines, oxygen generators, concentrators, testing kits and other related material, but left the rate of vaccines at 5%.
“Centre is buying and will provide it free to the people, GST will not be levied on the vaccination,” finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters after the meeting, when asked about the rate cut on vaccines and its impact on the people. She added that with the Centre procuring and paying the GST, approximately Rs 71 of every Rs 100 will be paid to the states, adding that states will get the vaccines from the Centre under the procurement plan.
She also added that – “People will not be bearing the cost of the vaccine”. Rates on medicines, oxygen generators, concentrators, testing kits and other related material will be reduced after the Council’s decision, and has agreed to most of the recommendations of the ministerial groups.
The rate for ambulances has been brought down to 12% from 28%, rate on electric crematoriums has been brought down to 5% from 18% and temperature checking equipment has been brought down to 5% from 12%. The rate cut in these categories has been sharper than recommended by the Ministerial group.
Exemption for drugs related to treatment of black fungus was also recommended and has been accepted by the Council. The drug for Mucormycosis was already relieved from the tax, after the meeting held on 28th of May.