The Finance Minister will chair the GST Council on Saturday; Tax Reduction on Covid Essentials, Black Mushroom Medicine on the Agenda

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The Finance Minister will chair the GST Council on Saturday;  Tax Reduction on Covid Essentials, Black Mushroom Medicine on the Agenda


NEW DELHI: Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman will preside over the meeting of the GST Council, which is expected to decide on tax relief for essential drugs for Covid-19 and black mushrooms.
The 44th meeting of the GST Council will be attended by the Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur, in addition to the finance ministers of the states and territories of the Union and senior officials of the government and the states of the Union, the ministry tweeted on Friday of Finance of the Union.
The Council will discuss the report of the group of ministers, led by Meghalaya’s Senior Deputy Minister Conrad Sangma, on GST concessions on Covid-19 relief items such as medical grade oxygen, pulse oximeters, hand sanitizers and ventilators, among others.
In addition, GoM also investigated vaccines, drugs and medications for the treatment of Covid-19 and test kits for its detection.
Some state finance ministers in the Government of Mexico are believed to have proposed a rate cut on Covid-19 essentials.
UP Finance Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna, who is also a member of the Mexican government, said on Wednesday that the state is in favor of cutting taxes on Covid-19 essentials to make it easier for patients, but will accept the GST Council decision on tax rates.
The GST Council at its previous meeting on May 28 left taxes on Covid-19 vaccines and medical supplies unchanged after states ruled by the BJP and the Opposition discussed whether the benefits of the tax cut would reach the common man. The GoM was set up to recommend rates for Covid-19 essentials.
The Congress party, and other opposition-run states, have been demanding a tax cut, but the central government felt that the measure might not generate tangible gains for the people.
Currently, 5% of GST applies to domestically manufactured vaccines, while 12% applies to oxygen concentrators and COVID-19 drugs.
At the May 28 meeting, GST was exempted from importing amphotericin B, a drug used to treat black fungus.

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