Government is going to give big relief to common people, from masks to hand sanitizers, the price will be reduced
New Delhi. The GST Council will meet for the first time this year on May 28 through video conferencing. The meeting, to be held in the backdrop of the ongoing COVID wave in the country, is expected to consider reduction in charges especially for supply of essential medical supplies and announce some COVID relief measures. It may also announce some measures to rectify the reverse duty while discussing the compensation cess to arise in 2021-22 due to possible shortfall in cess collection. Two other important items, including reducing the GST rates for two-wheelers and bringing natural gas under the indirect tax net, may also figure on the agenda for discussion.
Relief can be found on these
Sources said that some states like Punjab have demanded reduction in GST charges on medical supplies required for the treatment of Kovid. The council may discuss some measures, such as reducing or exempting GST on coronavirus-related items such as hand sanitisers, face masks, gloves, PPE kits, temperature scanners, oximeters, certain COVID drugs and ventilators. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) on gloves, masks and other major COVID-19 medical supplies generally falls under the 12 per cent and 18 per cent GST slabs. However, a minimum rate of 5 per cent is applicable on GST on PPE. While ambulance services are exempted from GST, the purchase of an ambulance vehicle attracts 28 per cent GST.
GST meeting will be held after eight months
Significantly, the Center has already given exemption from customs duty and IGST, medical grade oxygen, PPE kits, oxygen concentrators, oxygen canisters, filling systems, storage tanks, ventilators, compressors, among other similar items. The duty exemption is expected to boost the availability of these items as well as make them cheaper. Now the ball is in the court of the GST Council whether the GST exemption or deduction on the purchase and supply of such medical items which are being made locally, should also be increased accordingly. The GST Council has not met since October last year. The panel of finance ministers had discussed the GST compensation and the formula introduced by the Center to compensate for the shortfall in GST in the last meeting.