The GST Council on Friday (28 May) decided to exempt the import of Covid relief items irrespective of the mode of procurement -- paid or free of cost -- from the payment of integrated GST (IGST).
The exemption will be valid till 31 August 2021.
So far, IGST exemption was applicable only when these goods were imported 'free of cost' for free distribution. This exemption too has been extended till 31 August.
"As a Covid-19 relief measure, a number of specified Covid-19 related goods, such as medical oxygen, oxygen concentrators and other oxygen storage and transportation equipment, certain diagnostic markers, test kits and vaccines etc., have been recommended for full exemption from IGST, even if imported on payment basis, for donating to the government or on recommendation of state authority to any relief agency," said a Finance Ministry statement.
These goods are already exempted from basic Customs duty.
In another major decision, the council decided to exempt IGST on Amphotericin B, a medicine required to treat black fungus (Mucormycosis) infection.
As regards individual items, it was decided to constitute a Group of Ministers (GoM) to go into the need for further relief to Covid related individual items immediately. The GOM shall submit its report by June 8.
Meanwhile, in a relaxation to small taxpayers, the council on Friday recommended to come up with an amnesty scheme for reducing late fee.
As per Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, it will benefit around 89 per cent of GST taxpayers, as they would be able to file pending returns, and avail the benefits of the scheme with reduced late fees.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)