Seven non-BJP-ruled states urge Centre to remove tax on COVID medicine, clear GST dues


Express News Service

JAIPUR: Ahead of the GST Council meeting on Friday, seven non-BJP-ruled states have unanimously asked the Centre to remove the goods and services tax (GST) on medicines and medical equipment used to treat COVID-19. At the moment, these attract GST in various slabs ranging from 5 to 18 per cent.  

The states also sought early release of the outstanding GST compensation to all states. “The Centre should have zero rates on goods related to Covid so that there is no loss of input credit and consumers can also get relief,” said Rajasthan Urban Development and Housing Minister Shanti Dhariwal in a virtual meeting of the finance ministers of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Rajasthan on Wednesday. 

Both the issues will be raised in the GST Council meeting on Friday, sources said. Both the issues will be raised in the GST Council meeting on Friday. States will also seek to enhance their additional borrowing limit to 5 per cent of the GDP, sources said. 

The virtual meeting, hosted by Rajasthan minister Dhariwal, was attended by West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra, Punjab’s Manpreet Singh Badal, Jharkhand’s Rameshwar Oraon, Chhattisgarh’s TS Singh Deo, Kerala’s  KN Balagopal  and Tamil Nadu minister Palanivel Thiagarajan. 

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