No More Tax On Black Fungus Medicine: Here’s What You Need To Know About GST Council Meet

The goods and services tax (GST) Council meeting was held on 12th June 2021 after a massive gap of eight months, despite the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. At the press conference after the council meeting, Ms. Sitharaman announced that the IGST is no more applicable on free COVID-related essential products till August 31, 2021.

It was announced by the Finance Minister that the group of ministers will deliberate on the taxe rate of COVID medicines, vaccines, and other essential supplies on June 8, 2021.

The major key points that took place on the 43rd GST Council meeting – the first meeting on GST in the current financial year 2021-22, are:

è As the number of cases of Black Fungus is rising all over the country, the duty on the medicine importing like Amphotericin B, which is used to treat Black Fungus, is no more on GST.

è The Scheme known as Amnesty has been announced so that the late fee returns can be reduced. Small taxpayers have the right to file pending returns under this scheme. On the non-furnishing form, GSTR-3B for the tax periods between July 2017 – April 2021, a late fee has been reduced. 

è The small taxpayers don’t get any burden; the upper cap of late fees is now rationalized to align with the turnover or tax liability of the taxpayers.

è Now, payers can easily do the annual return filing for the financial year 2021-21, to ease the requirement of compliance in furnishing reconciliation statements which comes under the Form GSTR-9C. Taxpayers now self-certify the reconciliation statement and they don’t need to get it done by a chartered accountant now.

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è It has also been announced by the Finance Minister that the amount of Rs 1.58 lakh crore will be borrowed by the central government for the compensation of states loss of revenue from GST.

The meeting was conducted through a video conference and the representatives such as finance ministers of union territories and states and senior officials were present in the meeting.

Top highlights from the meeting

è Covid vaccine rates will be the same

As per the council, there are no changes in the GST rates for the COVID-19 vaccine across the country. Take a note that all the vaccines available for Coronavirus charge a GST of 5 percent.

è GST on Covid essentials and Ambulances has been cut

It has also been announced by the Council that GST rates on temperature checking equipment and electric furnaces will be reduced by 5 percent and 12 percent on ambulances which will be valid till September as against August end recommended by the GoM.

è 5% GST reduced on Remdesivir, Tocilizumab tax-free

The minister announced that the GST Council has approved the reduction of Remdesivir drug from 12 to 5 percent and there will be no charge on Tocilizumab medicine used to treat Corona.

è GST rates on testing kits, oxygen equipment, Covid relief material is still to be announced

The rates have been decided and they will be announced soon, as said by FM Sitharaman.

Meanwhile, sanitizers, oximeters, and temperature check equipment will be sold at 5 percent GST.