GST Council Meet: Tax on COVID-19 vaccines unchanged; 'black fungus' drug added to import exempt list

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, chairing the Council's first meet in nearly eight months on Friday, said the waiver of I-GST will continue on free COVID-19 related supplies imported from abroad till 31 August

Press Trust of India May 29, 2021 00:36:06 IST
GST Council Meet: Tax on COVID-19 vaccines unchanged; 'black fungus' drug added to import exempt list

File photo of Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. PTI

New Delhi: The GST Council on Friday left taxes on COVID-19 vaccines and medical supplies unchanged but exempted duty on import of a medicine used for treatment of black fungus.

A group of ministers will deliberate on tax structure on the vaccine and medical supplies, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters after a meeting of the GST Council.

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 5 percent GST.

Sitharaman said the Council decided to continue a waiver of I-GST on free COVID-19 related supplies imported from abroad.

Also, the panel decided that the Centre will borrow Rs 1.58 lakh crore and pass it on to the states to make up for the shortfall in their revenues from the implementation of the 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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