GST Council Extends Exemption on Imported COVID-Related Supplies For Donation From Tax Till August 31

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New Delhi, May 28: The 43rd Goods and Services Tax (GST) council meeting took place on Friday. Issues of COVID-related equipment were one of the items on the agenda of the meeting headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. In the GST meeting, the Finance Ministry decided to extend the exemption on imported COVID-19-related supplies for donation till August 31. Currently, 12 percent tax is levied on equipment used for the treatment of COVID-19.

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Meanwhile, the decision on GST cut on vaccines, and coronavirus-care-related equipment would be taken by June 8. Various state and union territory governments had earlier demanded waiver of GST on the COVID-19-related drugs and medical equipment. GST Council Leaves Tax Rate on Vaccines Unchanged.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “I've decided & announced in Council that a Group of Ministers quickly formed who will submit their report within 10 days - on or before June 8, so that if there are any further reductions which need to be done will be done, in the sense, that rates will be decided by them.”

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Amphotericin B, the drug used for the treatment of mucormycosis or black fungus, has also been included in the exemptions list. The GST Council, which is headed by the Union Finance Minister and comprises representatives of all states and union territories, exempted levy of I-GST on import of Amphotericin-B, which is used for the treatment of black fungus. Currently, vaccines attract five percent GST.

A special session of the Council will be held soon to consider extending the five-year GST shortfall compensation period to states beyond 2022. The panel provided relief to small GST taxpayers through an amnesty scheme for late return filers.

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