AFP GST Council last week decided to temporarily lower rates on Covid-related items including medicines, oxygen concentrators, testing kits and hand sanitisers to 5 per cent until September 30. Rate on vaccines is unchanged at 5 per cent.The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) Tuesday notified 5 per cent GST on 18 Covid related relief materials including oxygen concentrators and remdesivir injections, and reduced the tax on ambulances from 28 per cent to 12 per cent, till September 30.
The Board has rescinded the notification imposing 12 per cent integrated goods and services tax (IGST) on oxygen concentrators, imported for personal use.
The rate reduction has been done, “on being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest to do so, on the recommendations of the Council,” the Board said.
The matter of IGST on imports of oxygen concentrators is currently pending in the Supreme Court, and is likely to be heard towards the end of the month. The SC had stayed a Delhi High Court order that had declared as ‘unconstitutional’ IGST on oxygen concentrators imported as gifts for personal use.
While the rate has been reduced to 5 per cent from 12 per cent on concentrators, experts said that the apex court’s decision would be on the validity and constitutionality of the levy of IGST and its complete exemption.
“It will be desirable if this issue is heard and decided expeditiously by the SC in order to avoid multiplicity of judicial proceedings, besides giving clarity to the importers with regard to tax positions to be adopted,” said Prateek Bansal, associate partner, White & Brief Advocates.
The GST Council last week decided to temporarily lower rates on Covid-related items including medicines, oxygen concentrators, testing kits and hand sanitisers to 5 per cent until September 30. Rate on vaccines is unchanged at 5 per cent.
The levy on oxygen generators, pulse oximeters, ventilators, hand sanitizers, Bipap machine as well as the items cited above has been lowered to 5 per cent from 12 per cent or 18 per cent. Also included in this list are drugs recommended by the health ministry, while Tocilizumab and Amphotericin B have been completely exempted from GST.
GST on ambulances has been lowered to 12 per cent from 28 per cent, tax on electric furnaces used in crematoriums to 5 per cent from 18 per cent and temperature checking equipment to 5 per cent from 12 per cent.