The country is struggling with the second wave of coronavirus. Everyday, record numbers of new cases of infection are being recorded. There are complaints of shortage of medicines like Oxygen and Remedisvir across the country. Many states are also troubled by the shortage of ICU beds. Now there is increasing demand for giving exemption in GST on medical devices and important medicines.
Many states are demanding the Central Government to call a meeting of the GST Council. The council has not met for the last six months.
Apart from this, the state also wants to discuss furthering the compensation period. According to Business Standard news, the states want to extend this period beyond July 2022 as the burden on the state’s financial situation has increased due to the rise in the Covid transition.
12% GST on Covid Medicines
States are demanding a reduction in the GST rate on Covid medicines, medical oxygen and related equipment like Remedisvir. Right now, 12 percent GST is charged on these.
Remadecivir is being used extensively in the treatment of corona infection. There are also complaints of lack of it from many states of the country. Also, the incidence of black marketing is increasing.
Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo told Business Standard that the state would write a letter to the Center for GST exemption on Remedisvir and medical devices. Dev said, “We are asking for exemption on some things including Remedesvir. But for this the GST Council will have to meet.”
Why is the meeting delayed?
According to the law, the council should meet once every quarter. However, this time the difference between the two meetings has been stretched. According to the news of Business Standard, a finance ministry official said the reason for the delay was the assembly elections and the formation of new governments. The officer said, “We would like all states to have representation in the council. So it is better that the meeting be held only after the formation of new governments.”