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Highlights of 44th GST Council Meeting & Decisions taken By Finance minister

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The 44th meeting of the GST Council was held under the chairmanship of the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman through video conferencing in New Delhi on Saturday, June 12, 2021. The key highlight of this meeting is that the council decided to reduce the GST rates on specific items like hand sanitizers, face masks, medicines, gloves, pulse oximeters, PPE kits, temperature scanners, etc. Also, Sitharaman said that no GST will be levied on the antifungal drug amphotericin B, used to treat black fungus. She also said that the GST rates on drugs like amphotericin B will be zero from now on. A total of 19 ministers including Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Anurag Thakur, Finance Ministers of States and Union Territories, and senior officials from the Ministry of Finance and States/UTs participated in the meeting.

However, for individual items, the Council decided to constitute a Group of Ministers (GoM). “With respect to personal items, it was decided to constitute a Group of Ministers to immediately go into the need for further relief to personal items related to COVID-19,” the Finance Ministry said in the press statement.

Key Highlights of 44th GST council meet

44th GST Council meeting completed and here are some major decisions taken on 12th June 2021:

1. Smt Nirmala Sitharaman said in this meeting “GST rates have been fixed for 4 categories of products- Medicines, Oxygen, Oxygen-Production Equipment, Testing Kits and other machines and other COVID19 related relief material.

2. GST on Anticoagulants like Ventilators, Medical Grade Oxygen, COVID-19 Testing Kits, Oxygen Concentrators, and BiPAP Machines, Heparin, High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC) Devices, Ventilator Masks/Canula/Helmets, Specified Inflammatory Diagnostic Kits, and Pulse Oximeters has been reduced to 5% from the present 12%.

3. GST on hand sanitizers and temperature testing equipment, gas/electric/other furnaces for cremation, their installation, etc. has been reduced from 18% to 5%.

4. There will be 5% GST on Covid-19 vaccines.

5. The GST on Tocilizumab, Amphotericin B salt drugs has been reduced to zero from the present 5%.

6. The GST Council approved all the recommendations of the GoM on rate rationalization. GST on ambulances reduced from 28% to 12%.

7. According to the announcement made in this meeting, the center will buy 75% of the vaccine and will also pay its GST but 70% of the income from GST will be shared with the states.

Check here, What is the change in GST rates on GST on goods used in COVID-19 management?

NOTE: These rate cuts/rebates will be applicable till 30 September 2021:

A. Medicines

S. No. Description Present GST RateGST Rate recommended by GST Council 
Tocilizumab 5% Nil 
Amphotericin B5% Nil 
Anti-Coagulants like Heparin 12% 5% 
Remdesivir 12%5% 
Any other drug recommended by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Dept. of Pharma (DoP) for Covid treatment Applicable Rate 5% 

 B.  Oxygen, Oxygen generation equipment and related medical devices 

S. No. Description Present GST RateGST Rate recommended by GST Council 
Medical Grade Oxygen12%5%
Oxygen Concentrator/ Generator, including personal imports thereof12%5%
Ventilators 12%5%
Ventilator masks / canula / helmet 12%5%
BiPAP Machine12%5%
High flow nasal canula (HFNC) device 12%5%

C. Testing Kits and Machines 

S. No. Description Present GST RateGST Rate recommended by GST Council 
Covid Testing Kits12%5%
Specified Inflammatory Diagnostic Kits, namely D-Dimer, IL-6, Ferritin and LDH 12%5%

D. Other Covid-19 related relief material 

S. No. Description Present GST RateGST Rate recommended by GST Council 
Pulse Oximeters, incl personal imports thereof12%5%
Hand Sanitizer 18% 5%
Temperature check equipment 18% 5%
Gas/Electric/other furnaces for crematorium, including their installation, etc. 18% 5%
Ambulances28% 12%

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