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GST Council extends concessional rates on COVID-related medicines till Dec 31

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh): The GST Council on Friday extended Goods and Services Tax concessions on COVID-related medicines till December 31 this year.

Briefing media persons after the 45th meeting of GST Council held in Lucknow, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said GST rate on biodiesel which is supplied to oil marketing companies for blending with diesel has also been reduced from 12 per cent to 5 per cent.

She said extension has been given in existing concessional GST rates on COVID-19 treatment drugs up to December 31. The exemption was valid till September 30.

These drugs are Amphotericin B (nil), Remdesivir ( 5 pc), Tocilizumab (nil) and anti-coagulants like Heparin - (5 pc).

The minister said that transport of export goods by vessels and air is exempt from GST till September 30 and this exemption was given because of difficulties being faced by exporters in getting a refund of ITC (Input Tax Credit) due to technical issues on the GST portal.

She said this exemption is being extended by one more year. The minister spoke about tax concessions on medicines not related to COVID-19.

"We have seen in the last one year and probably earlier that some life-saving drugs, which are not connected with Corona and are very expensive.

Exemptions have been given for such drugs. I am giving the names of two because those two are very expensive drugs -- Zolgensma and Viltepso. These two are very important drugs which cost something like Rs 16 crores. So the council has decided to grant exemption from GST for these two," she said.

"Drugs that are suggested by the Ministry of Health for treating muscular atrophy, on the recommendation of Health Ministry and Department of Pharmaceuticals, are also exempted for IGST on import for personal use.

The concessional GST rates on corona-related medicines have been extended till December 31, 2021. GST rate on seven other medicines, which are recommended by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, have also been recommended for reduction from 12 per cent to 5 per cent. That is also extended till December 31, 2021," she added.

Sitharaman said that cancer-related drugs - Keytruda - along with similar other medicines used in the treatment of cancer as per the Health Ministry are being recommended for tax concession from 12 to 5 per cent.

The Minister further said National Permit Fee charged by states for granting permits to goods vehicles to operate throughout the country or in contiguous states is being exempted from GST.(ANI)

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