The Union government has taken a decision to exempt the healthcare sector from the Goods and Service Tax (GST’s) ambit. The 14th Goods and Service Tax council meeting was chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and was held at Srinagar. In which the fitment of rates of goods were discussed during the council meeting.
Government’s decision is a big relief to the common man, as healthcare and medical services will not get dearer and would be in affordable range of the common man.
Speaking on the GST issue Finance Minister Arun Jailtley said, “GST bill is going to be consumer friendly. Healthcare and education to be exempted”
While the Finance Ministry tweeted, “Most of services exempted at present will continue to be exempted under GST including healthcare and education services”
Meanwhile the healthcare sector has welcomed the Union government’s decision.
Dr Rajendra Patankar COO of Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital said, “Exempting healthcare from GST is a positive step taken by the Indian government. It will broadly ensure that affordable healthcare services remain within the reach of a majority of people.”
He further stated, “The move will also incentivise the creation of an effective pan India healthcare infrastructure by scaling up existing healthcare facilities and building new medical centres, clinics and hospitals equipped with the latest diagnostic equipment to tackle emerging health challenges and formulate effective disease control measures.
“The private sector can also be increasingly involved in investing in the expanding healthcare sector in the country and enlisted in becoming a credible partner for bolstering healthcare services in the country,” Dr Patankar added.
“We welcome the Union Government and GST Council’s move to exempt healthcare from the Goods and Services Tax. We believe that by doing so the government has accorded healthcare and education due importance and impetus; that they need to become game-changing agents for transformation of India, its people and the economy. This is another step in the direction of universal health coverage. As we await the details of the council’s decision, we would like to congratulate them for their progressive far-sightedness for this sector,” said Sunita Reddy, MD, Apollo Hospitals.
Voxtur Bio Ltd.’s Chairman Viral Gandhi said, “The government has taken a step in the right direction by exempting human blood and its components from the provisions of GST. Taking into account the fact that contraceptives are extremely important in maintaining highest standards of healthcare, they have also been kept out of the ambit of GST. Considering the fact that all kinds of clinical wastage are bio hazardous in nature, it has been exempted from GST for ensuring the adherence to proper protocols are followed in its disposal.
He added that, a key component is the exemption given to condoms from GST as they not only aid in keeping the birth rate under control but also help in preventing the proliferation of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
Gandhi also stated that, “Hearing aids falling under Chapter 9021 have been exempted from GST. All types of serological and immunological testing kits, forming an important component of In Vitro Diagnostic Testing Kits, have been placed in the 12 per cent GST slab. While Hepatitis Diagnostic Tests have been placed in the 5 per cent slab, chemistry based diagnostic reagents, chemicals, prepared culture media and analysers have been placed in the higher slab of 18 per cent”