FM Sitharaman chairs 45th Meeting of GST council; GST reduced from 12% to 5% on cancer drugs, 7 other medicines

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said reduced GST rates on COVID medicines have been extended till 31st December from 30th September. Briefing media after 45th Meeting of the Goods and Services Tax, GST Council in Lucknow, Ms Sitharaman said, Zolgensma and Viltepso are two very expensive Life saving drugs which cost around 16 crore rupees. She said the council has decided to grant exemption from GST for these two drugs. Some drugs suggest by Ministry of Health have also been exempted.

The Council also reduced GST from 12 to 5 percent on cancer-related drugs and Seven other medicines. GST was also reduced on bio diesel from 12 to 5 percent.

GST on retro-fitment kits for vehicles used by Divyangs has been reduced to 5 percent. GST rate on fortified rice kernels which can be used in schemes like Integrated Child Development Services Scheme has been reduced from 18 percent to 5 percent.

The Finance Minister said, some decisions have been taken on import of aircraft or other goods on lease to avoid double taxation. In order to reduce inversion and help domestic manufacturing, 12 per cent GST has been recommended on specified renewable energy devices which will help the Atmnirbhar Bharat initiative. The Council also exempted national permit fee charged by states for operation of goods carriage from GST.

Petroleum products also came into discussion of the council following a Kerala High order but Council members said it clearly that they don’t want these products to come under the ambit of GST. The Council has decided to report back to the Court.

Ms Sitharaman said that the council has decided to form

2 GoMs. While One GoM will be looking at rate rationalisation issues, another GOM will look into related issues of e- way bills, fast tags, technology issues, compliances and Composition schemes. The Finance Minister said, both GoMs will come back with the analysis within 2 months.

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