GST rates cut for COVID essentials, 5% GST to continue on vaccines

The Goods and Services Tax Council reduced rates on Covid-related medicines, oxygen concentrators and testing kits, but kept the rate for vaccines unchanged at 5%.

Finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman said the council had set up a group of ministers to look into taxation on Covid relief material. The GoM had recommended tax cut on various items.

Among the important tax reductions, tax will not be charged for medicines like the monoclonal antibody Tocilizumab and Amphotericin B, used for treating Black Fungus.

The tax was brought down for pulse oximeters from 12% to 5%, for hand sanitisers, the tax was reduced from 18% to 5% and for Covid-testing kits from 12% to 5%.

Covid vaccines continue to be charged a GST of 5 per cent. There is no change in the GST rate of some items being charged at 18 per cent, such as RT-PCR machines, RNA extraction machines and genome sequencing machines. Also, there is also no tax cut on raw material for Covid testing kits.