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No tax on Black Fungus medicines, 5% GST to continue on Covid vaccines

Saturday morning GST (Goods and Services Tax) council reported that no tax will be charged on medication to treat Black Fungus. While tax rates have been reduced to some extent on Covid supplements. No tax for Tocilizumab and Amphotericin B which are being used for the treatment of Black fungus, the Goods and Services Tax council said. 5% of the GST will be charged on Covid vaccines. The report says this tax cut is valid till 30th September 2021. The date can be further extended if needed. 

At the 44th GST Council meeting, Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman retorted that the Council with the recommendation by the Group of Ministers (GOM) has decided on decreasing the taxation rate. "It was felt that the GoM's recommendations have brought substantial change. The GST Council largely agreed to go with the recommendations, except for some slight tweaking," said Sitharaman. With Anurag Thakur, minister of state for finance, other finance ministers and officials also joined the meeting. 

Sitharaman has added that Council has cut the tax on mucormycosis to nil where GST rates have been imposed on 4 categories of medicines, oxygen, oxygen concentrators, ventilators, and other equipment. Goods and Services Tax on ambulances has been reduced to 12% from 28%. The revised GST rate for Remdesivir is 5%, previously it was 12%. Tax rates on any other drug recommended by the health ministry and department of pharma for Covid treatment reduced to 5%. 

On the other hand, Covid testing kits and related materials brought down to 5% from 12%. Anti-Coagulants such as Heparin and specified inflammatory diagnosis kit namely D-dimer, IL-6, Ferritin, and LDH have also been reduced to 5% where it was 12% before revision. Pulse oximeters, hand sanitizer, temperature check supplements have come down to 5%.

All the health centers can purchase 75% of vaccines according to the announcement before by paying GST on it. It is also said by Sitharaman that 70% of the income from Goods and Services Tax will be shared with the states. The present taxation rate on Gas, Electric, other furnaces for crematorium including their installation was 18% and now have been reduced to 5%. 

GST rates on Covid vaccines will make no difference or impact on people even after being given free of cost, added Sitharaman. Where the tax rate on BiPAP machines and High Flow nasal cannula devices was 12% has been brought down to 5%. 

Amidst the second wave of Covid pandemic Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman relieved the citizens nationwide by reducing GST rates on Covid supplements. This decision regarding waiving off taxation rate is considered to be commendable and overwhelmed people are supporting the government along with the finance ministry for decreasing taxation rates.

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