GST Council meet: No tax on Black Fungus medicine
- Finance minister Sitharaman announces tax cut on mucormycosis medicine, other Covid essentials at GST Council meet.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman after the GST Council meet on Saturday announced that mucormycosis medicine Amphotericin B will not be charged any tax.
She said that the GST Council has decided also to impose nil tax on Tocilizumab and also reduced tax from 12% to 5% on Remdesivir, which has been used widely to treat coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients. The GST council also reduced the tax rate on anti-coagulant Heparin from 12% to 5%.
The government's decision to reduce taxes on mucormycosis medicine comes after the disease led to loss of lives in several states. Following the outbreak of the disease, several state governments also declared the disease an epidemic last month.
The Centre on Saturday also allocated at least 170,000 vials of Amphotericin B to all states and Union Territories in order to effectively treat the disease. The government also said that it has allocated 321,100 vials of Liposomal Amphotericin-B to all the states until June 9.
The government last month announced that it has given licence to 5 companies to speed up the production of Liposomal Amphotericin B injections. Mucormycosis cases rose amid the second wave of the Covid-19 crisis in thousands of patients across the country.
Mucormycosis damages the eyes, noses, sinuses, lungs, brain and even was found in the intestines of a patient. It can cause blindness, create lesions and also become fatal. The disease, according to experts, affects diabetics and people who are immunocompressed. Experts have also highlighted that the disease affects diabetics and people who have been administered steroids during their recovery phase.
Among other announcements made at the GST Council meet, the body decided to retain the 5% tax rate on Covid-19 vaccines and announced relief on ventilator masks, canula and helmet by reducing the tax from 12% to 5%. The council also decided to slash taxes for BiPAP machine and high flow nasal canula devices from 12% to 5%.