Concessional GST rates on COVID-related drugs extended till December 31, says Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi: The Goods and Service Tax (GST) council chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday (September 17) announced that it has given GST exemption on expensive imported drugs like Zologensma and Viltetso. These life-saving drugs are unrelated to covid-19. 

The meeting held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh was the 45th meeting of the GST council and the first in-person one in nearly two years. 

There will be concessional GST rates on covid related drugs, which has now been extended till December 31 from September 30, says FM Sitharaman. 

FM Sitharaman had announced that a few decisions have been taken on import of aircraft or other goods on lease to avoid double taxation. The inverted duty scheme on footwear and textiles will be changed from January 1, 2022, she added. Also, 12% GST will be levied on specific renewable devices, said FM Sitharaman.

GST rate on locomotives and certain railway parts has been increased from 12% to 18%, said Sitharaman. GST Council had also reduced tax rates on medicines used in cancer treatment from 12% to 5%.

Sitharaman said 5 per cent GST will be levied at the point where the delivery is made by Swiggy and Zomato.

Also, the Council cut GST rate from 12 per cent to 5 per cent on cancer-related rugs and on fortified rice kernels to 5 per cent from 18 per cent.

GST rate on bio-diesel for blending in diesel was reduced to 5 per cent from 12 per cent, while the national permit fee for goods carriage has been exempt from GST.

Import of leased aircraft have also been exempted from payment of I-GST, the finance minister said.

“GST Council felt it was not the right time to include petroleum products in GST,” she said.

The panel decided to levy 18 per cent GST on all sorts of pens. Specified renewable sector devices will be charged 12 per cent tax.

GST Council also recommended new footwear and textile rates from January 1.

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