- The Maharashtra government wants the GST council to lower the GST slab on diabetes, heart and cancer drugs from exiting 12 per cent to 5 per cent.
- Maharashtra’s Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has stated this during the discussion in the legislative council.
- The state government is contemplating the of distributing free medicines to the poor who suffer from diabetes, heart ailments and cancer.
Day by day cases of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, heart ailments and cancer are increasing in the country. The rising cost of the medicines and the healthcare facilities is putting extra pressure on the out of pocket expenditure of the patient.
While answering a question in the Maharashtra legislative council, on July 12, Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said, “The government will request the GST council to lower the GST slabs from 12% to 5%. Earlier as well, the state had requested the GST council to about the medicines prices.”
He further added, “Best quality medicines will be provided to the poor and needy people. The state will not differentiate between low-cost medicines of low quality and high-cost medicines of high quality. Every patient will be given good quality medicines.”
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Abhijit More, Co-convenor of the Pune based Jan Aarogya Abhiyan said, “This is indeed a good move by the government to request the GST council to lower the GST slabs. But, as diabetes cases are on the rise in the country, the government should provide drugs for free, as the poor patients cannot afford the high-cost medicines.”