Remove GST from essential drugs, equipment used in fight against Covid-19: Priyanka Gandhi urges Centre
Priyanka Gandhi's tweets come as Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is chairing the virtual meeting of the GST Council on Friday
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday urged the Centre to remove Goods and Services Tax (GST) charged on all life-saving medicines and equipment used to treat the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), reiterating her party’s stand. “In today’s GST Council meet, the government should remove GST from all life saving medicines and equipment that are being used to fight Covid,” Gandhi tweeted.
Gandhi shared a list of 15 items on Twitter, including alcohol-based hand sanitisers, hand wash, soaps, cotton mask, PPE kits, disinfectants, thermometers, non-cotton face masks, medical-grade oxygen, vaccines, testing kits etc, stating that imposing GST on essential products like these during a global pandemic is “cruel and insensitive”. “Imposing GST on essential medical products like oxygen, ventilators, vaccines and medicines during a pandemic is cruel and insensitive,” Gandhi added.
Her tweets come as Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is chairing the virtual meeting of the GST Council on Friday. The Union ministry of finance tweeted that the minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur along with finance ministers and senior officials of states and Union territories (UT) will be attending the 43rd GST Council meeting. The council is meeting after a gap of eight months.
Congress has been asking for a removal of GST levied on essential goods and medicines and joining its chorus are the finance ministers of states like Rajasthan, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Kerala and West Bengal. These states have formulated a joint strategy to press for a zero tax rate on Covid essentials, PTI reported on Friday.