Sisodia demands full-tax waiver on Covid items at GST meet
The Delhi government reiterated its demand for full tax waiver on all Covid-19 medical items till the end of the pandemic at the GST Council meeting on Saturday, said deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who attended the meeting chaired by Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
“Today (Saturday), at the GST Council meeting, I recommended that it is necessary for us to make Covid-19 medical equipment such as vaccines, masks, sanitisers, thermometers, oximeters and so on tax free. Expenses related to masks, sanitisers, thermometers have now been added into the monthly budget of people. So, people are waiting to see whether their bill for a sanitiser or mask will remain at Rs.500 or go up to Rs.550 with tax. There should be no tax for such items till the pandemic at least,” said Sisodia, who is also the finance minister, in a statement on Saturday evening.
In the advent of a possible third wave, the Delhi government also sought a clarification from the Centre. “Keeping in mind a possible third wave, central and state governments across the nation have already started ramping up medical facilities. Private sectors have also been asked to invest in public healthcare. If a state government asks a private company to invest ₹10 lakh in a hospital to increase its ICU capacity, does this mean that the hospital will get the full amount or will that hospital receive a deducted amount after tax?,” asked Sisodia.
The deputy CM said ministers across several BJP-ruled states are against the suggestion of making Covid-19 medical equipment tax-free. “The BJP-led central government showed their discontent against state governments, which recommended making medical items tax free. The GST Council did not listen to any of us and did not accept our suggestions. I appeal to the central government to have an open heart, to think about the sufferings of the people and make these equipment tax-free. It is the need of the hour and will help people when they plan their monthly budget,” said Sisodia.