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Life-saving drugs get cheaper as FM Sitharaman announces GST exemptions

GST exemptions announced by FM Sitharaman 
Image Source : PTI/FILE IMAGE

GST exemptions announced by FM Sitharaman 

Life saving drugs got cheaper as Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announced a slew of GST exemptions on Friday. The decision came after a crucial meeting of the GST Council. The 45th meeting of the GST Council, chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprising state finance ministers, is the first physical meeting since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The last such meeting took place 20 months ago on December 18, 2019.

Since then the council has been meeting via video-conferencing.

MAJOR DECISIONS

  • Life-saving drugs Zolgngelsma and Viltepso will be exempted from GST. “I am giving the names of two because those two are very expensive drugs – Zolgensma and Viltepso. These two are very important drugs which cost something like Rs 16 crores. So the council has decided to grant exemption from GST for these 2,” Sitharaman said while announcing the decision. 
  • The concessional GST rates on Corona-related medicines have been extended till December 31st, 2021: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after 45th GST Council meeting, in Lucknow.
  • Transport of export goods by vessel, air exempted from GST.
  • Drugs that are suggested by the Ministry of Health for treating muscular atrophy, on the recommendation of Health Ministry and Dept of Pharmaceuticals, are also exempted for IGST on import for personal use.
  • GST rates on Retro Fitment Kits for vehicles, used by persons with special disabilities, have also been reduced to 5%.

READ MORE: Banks should embrace digitisation to ensure govt schemes reach needy: Nirmala Sitharaman

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