GST waiver on drugs, jabs will hit users: FM

KOLKATA/ NEW DELHI: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday turned down West Bengal CM Mamata Manerjee’s demand for GST waiver on some of the items being used for battling Covid-19, arguing that the levy was needed to ensure that domestic producers get tax credit for taxes paid on inputs and services and prices remain low.
“If full exemption from GST were given, domestic producers of these items would be unable to offset taxes paid on their inputs and input services and would pass these on to the end consumers by increasing their price,” the FM said in a series of tweets in response to Banerjee’s letter. She also used the same argument for vaccines, while underlining that the Centre was providing free vaccines to those above 45 years as well as frontline workers and also bearing the GST.
Banerjee had written to PM Modi seeking GST and customs duty waiver on medical equipment, medicines and oxygen, required to fight Covid 19.