Govt forms GoM to cut tax on Covid treatment


The government has constituted a group of ministers to recommend tax cuts or exemptions on vaccines, drugs and medicines for Covid treatment.

The eight-member panel, to be headed by Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma, will submit its report by June 8, the finance ministry said in an office memorandum issued Saturday.

Deputy chief minister of Maharashtra Ajit Pawar, deputy chief minister of Gujarat Nitin Patel and Goa transport minister Mauvin Godinho will be members of the group. Finance minister of Kerala KN Balagopal, finance minister of Odisha Niranjan Pujari, finance minister of Telangana T Harish Rao and finance minister of Uttar Pradesh Suresh Khanna will be the other members of the group.

The panel will look into tax rates and need for exemption or reduction on vaccines, drugs, medicines, Covid testing kits, medical-grade oxygen, pulse oximeters, hand sanitisers, oxygen concentrators, generators, ventilators, PPE kits, N-95 masks, surgical masks, temperature checking equipment and any other item required for Covid relief.

The GoM has been set up after several opposition-ruled states in the GST Council meeting on Friday sought complete tax waiver on Covid-related vaccines, medicines and drugs, oxygen cylinders, concentrators, and other material and equipment required for treatment of the disease.

“There was protracted discussion on it, with varying viewpoints. I have decided and announced in the council to have a group of ministers to be quickly formed, which will submit its report on or before 8 June,” Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said on Friday after the council meeting.



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