As per the recent tweet of CBIC, the Ministry of Finance has issued a Press Release dated July 15, 2020. that the GST rate on alcohol-based hand sanitizers has been reported in a few sections of media. It is stated that hand sanitizers attract GST at a rate of 18%. Sanitizers are disinfectants like soaps, anti-bacterial liquids, Dettol, etc which all attract duty standard rate of 18% under the GST regime. The GST rates on various items are decided by the GST Council where the Central Government and all the state governments together deliberate and take decisions.
It is further clarified that inputs for the manufacture of hand sanitizers are chemicals packing material, input services, which also attract a GST rate of 18%. Reducing the GST rate on sanitizers and other similar items would lead to an inverted duty structure and put the domestic manufacturers at disadvantage vis-a-vis importers. Lower GST rates help imports by making them cheaper. This is against the nation’s policy on Atmanirbhar Bharat. Consumers would also eventually not benefit from the lower GST rate if domestic manufacturing suffers on account of an inverted duty structure.
The Press Release can be accessed at: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1638769