Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, speaking on the outcomes of the just-concluded 45th GST Council meeting today, announced GST exemption on some life-saving drugs not connected with Covid-19 but that are "very expensive". "There wouldn't be GST on them - Zolgensma and Viltepso costing around Rs 16 crore will now be exempted from GST," the Finance Minister said.
She said drugs suggested by the Health Ministry for treating muscular atrophy have also been exempted from IGST for import on "personal use". The FM said concessional GST rates on COVID-19 related medicines were announced earlier, and was applicable till September 30. "The concessions have now been extended till CalendarDec 31, 2021," she added.
The Finance Minister said extension is being given only for medicines that were given exemption earlier, not for medical equipment. "Medicines include:-Amphotericin B (0%), Tocilizumab (0%), Remdesivir (5%), Heparin (5%) -- concessional GST rates extended till Dec 31, 2021."
The GST on seven other medicines recommended by the Pharmaceutical Department has been slashed from 12 per cent to 5 per cent, till December 31, 2021. "GST on Cancer-related drugs such as Keytruda Downwards narrow reduced from 12% to 5%," she added. Besides, GST on retro-fitment kits for vehicles used by divyang or persons with disabilities reduced downwards arrow to 5 per cent.
The FM said GST rate on fortified rice kernels, which can be used in schemes like Integrated Child Development Services Scheme has been reduced from 18 per cent to 5 per cent. The GST Council met in person after nearly two years.
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