Tax on medicines, some hospital equipment and other items needed in the fight against the battle of COVID-19 has been reduced by the Goods and Services Tax Council. The tax cut is based on recommendations by a Group of Ministers amid the pandemic, whose crippling effects on the economy has also hurt household finance, the constitutional body that decides rates for the GST has said.
No tax will be levied for medicines like the monoclonal antibody Tocilizumab and Amphotericin B, used for treating Black Fungus, an opportunistic fungal disease that affects people infected with Covid. The tax cuts are valid till September 30, and may be extended nearer the deadline.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. Genome sequencing kits that are being charged at 12 per cent will continued to be charged at the same rate. There is also no tax cut on raw material for Covid testing kits.