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Business News/ Economy / GST Council forms 8-member panel to examine tax exemption on Covid material

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Saturday 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.

Briefing reporters after the 43rd meeting of the GST Council, the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday had said a ministerial panel will be constituted to decide on the rates on the vaccines and medical supplies.

The panel will submit its report by June 8.

The panel consists of Conrad Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya as the Convenor along with the following members:

-Nitinbhai Patel, Deputy Chief Minister, Gujarat

-Ajit Pawar, Deputy Chief Minister, Maharashtra

-Mauvin Godinho, Minister for Transport & Panchayati Raj, Housing, Protocol and Legislative Affairs, Goa

-K.N. Balagopal, Minister for Finance, Kerala

-Niranjan Puiari, Minister for Finance and Excise, Odisha Member

-Harish Rao, Minister for Finance, Telangana

-Suresh Khanna, Minister for Finance, U. P.

The GOM shall examine the need for GST concession/exemption and make recommendations on -

(i) COVID vaccines, drugs and medicines for COVID treatment and testing kits for COVID detection;

(ii) Medical grade oxygen, Pulse oximeters, Hand sanitizers, Oxygen therapy equipment such as Concentrators, Generators and Ventilators, PPE kits, N 95 masks, surgical masks, temperature checking equipment; and

(iii) any other items required for COVID relief.

The GOM on COVID relief shall be assisted by a Committee of officers from the Centre and the States as convened by it, the finance ministry stated.

The GST Council in its 43rd meeting on Friday left taxes on COVID-19 vaccines and medical supplies and formed a group of ministers (GoM) to recommend tax rates on these items. The panel will submit its report by June 8.

The Council also decided that import of COVID-related goods such as medical oxygen and vaccines will be exempt from GST till August 31, even if those are imported on a payment basis or free of cost for donating to the government or a state-approved agency.

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Updated: 29 May 2021, 05:41 PM IST
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