On June 12, 2021, the 44th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council was chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman where several changes in the GST rate have been made which would be applicable till September 30, 2021.
- The following decisions were taken at the meeting:
- GST Council has accepted recommendations of Group of Ministers (GoM) which was set up to look on tax relief on Covid-19 medical supplies.
- It decided to waive the tax levied on two critical drugs against COVID-19 and mucormycosis — tocilizumab and amphotericin B — and reset the tax rate to 5% for 14 major pandemic relief items, till September 30.
- The 5% GST levied on vaccines was left unchanged.
- GST rates on anticoagulants such as Heparin and Remdesivir have been cut from 12% to 5%.
- Ambulances, which are currently taxed at 28%, will attract a GST levy of 12%.
- GST rates on gas or electric or other furnaces used in crematorium including the installation charges have been reduced to 5% from 18%.
- For oxygen concentrators, medical grade oxygen and related devices such as ventilators, BiPAP machines, the GST rate has also been brought down to 5% from 12%.
- The same reduction has been approved in the levies on COVID-testing kits and pulse oximeters.
- The 5% rate will apply to personal imports of oxygen concentrators as well as pulse oximeters.
- The 18% GST payable on hand sanitizers has been reduced to 5%.
- 5% tax would be applied on ventilator masks or cannula or helmets.
- The last meeting of the GST Council was held on May 28, 2021, which had recommended full exemption from IGST on several specified COVID-19 related goods like medical oxygen, oxygen concentrators, etc.
- Following the meeting, Council decided to constitute a Group of Ministers (GoM) to recommend rates for individual items.