UP govt favours GST cut on Covid items to
facilitate patients: State FM
Uttar Pradesh government is in favour of reduction of GST on Covid-19 essential
items and hopes to bring back its tax collections to pre-pandemic levels on the
back of improved economic activity, the state s finance minister Suresh Kumar
Khanna said today.
said that the state is in full preparedness for any third wave of Covid-19 but
will never resort to hiking taxes to raise resources for fighting the pandemic.
moment experts predicted that a third Covid-19 wave may hit the country, the UP
government has started making arrangements for 50 isolation and 50 ICU beds,
and 10 beds for holding areas... We have also done manpower training,"
Khanna said in an online interaction with reporters here.
are all prepared (for the third Covid-19 wave). No one predicted a second wave,
but we are fully prepared for the third wave if it comes," said Khanna,
who also holds the Medical Education portfolio.
UP has not raised VAT rates to raise resources to fight Covid-19 and Value
Added Tax on petrol and diesel is Rs 26.80 and Rs 17.48, respectively.
lower than the rates in states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil
Nadu and Chhattisgarh.
believe in bettering our own infrastructure, rather than raising tax rates. We
will accept whatever decision the GST Council takes," he said.
asked about lowering taxes on Covid-19 relief items, he said since he is a
member of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on this issue, he would not be
commenting on it. "However, the Uttar Pradesh government is in favour of
tax rate cuts to facilitate patients," Khanna said.
on GST concessions on Covid-19 relief items was mandated to examine whether a
GST rate cut or exemption is required for medical grade oxygen, pulse
oximeters, hand sanitizers, oxygen therapy equipment like concentrators,
ventilators, PPE kits, N-95 and surgical masks and temperature checking
the panel looked into Covid-19 vaccines, drugs, and medicines for Covid-19
treatment and testing kits for coronavirus detection.
was set up after the meeting of the GST Council, which is chaired by the Union
Finance Minister and comprises state ministers, on May 28. The panel has
submitted its report, which will now be taken up for consideration by the Council
in its next meeting.
Council on May 28 left taxes on Covid-19 vaccines and medical supplies
unchanged after the BJP and Opposition-ruled states sparred over whether the
tax rate cut benefits will reach the common man.
and other Opposition-ruled states have been demanding a reduction in taxes but
the central government felt the move may not result in tangible gains for
5 per cent GST is levied on domestically manufactured vaccines, while it is 12
per cent for Covid-19 drugs and oxygen concentrators.