Home / News / India /  Odisha CM writes to FM seeking exemption of GST on purchase of Covid vaccines

Bhubaneswar (Odisha): Amid the surge of COVID-19 cases, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday wrote to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman urging the exemption of Goods and Service Taxes (GST) on the purchase of COVID-19 vaccine.

"The states have been asked to purchase vaccines out of their own resources to cover the 18 to 45 years age group of the population. These purchases attract GST, making the vaccines costly for the state. Hence, GST needs to be completely exempted. It will reduce the cost for the state and facilitate our drive towards universal vaccination," Patnaik stated in his letter to Sitharaman.

Patnaik also stated that the various cess and surcharges on petrol, diesel and liquor which are exclusively available for the Central government, maybe shared suitably with the state governments at this critical juncture to strengthen the fight against COVID-19.

"Lack of finances should not affect any state affecting the entire country in turn. Hence, the additional resources raised through various cess and surcharges on Petrol, diesel and liquor, which are exclusively available for the Central government, may be shared suitably with the state governments at this critical juncture. This will strengthen our fight against the pandemic including the provision of vaccination, free treatment and undertaking preventive measures," the letter said.

Odisha had earlier announced free vaccination against COVID-19 for all citizens of the state in the age group of 18 to 44 years.

The Centre on April 19 had announced a ''liberalised'' policy, making all above 18 years of age eligible to get vaccinated from May 1. It has also allowed state governments and private hospitals to purchase vaccines from manufacturers.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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