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GST: Govt panel for removing tax on inter-state trade

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New Delhi: To achieve a middle path on the long due Goods & Services Tax (GST) bill, a government panel headed by Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian suggested the one per cent additional origin tax for manufacturing states recommended to be levied on the GST, specifically on the inter-state trade of goods to help manufacturing states. This is one of the foremost demands of the Congress and the suggestion might help the BJP-led NDA Government to crack this gridlock in Parliament.

In a report submitted to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday by the authorised committee recommended changes on the main GST rate to be in the range of 16.9-18.9 percent. The rates endorsed a revenue-neutral rate (RNR) of 15-15.5 percent, with an average rate of 17-18 per cent, should be levied on majority goods and services.

The average rate will be implemented on majority goods and services in the new indirect tax regime. These tariffs were deliberate after eliminating real estate, electricity, alcohol and petroleum products.

The demands put forth by Congress’ comprise 18% GST rate to be legislative and doing away with 1% additional origin tax for manufacturing states- Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. They had also demanded an independent dispute resolving body for GST.

“The idea of not putting rate caps (of 18% as suggested by Congress) in the Constitution is pragmatic, considering the dynamic business environment which may demand future changes in the GST rate. Recommendation towards wider coverage of sectors (including petroleum) within GST is much desirable in the interest of a cleaner indirect tax regime,” said Rajeev Dimri, leader, indirect tax, BMR & Associates LLP, to a newspaper.

The Constitution Amendment Bill, prevalently recognized as the GST bill, is pending approval in the Rajya Sabha due lack of the majority of the leading government. The government is nonetheless working towards negotiating and finalizing the work by March 31 next year to enable GST’s roll out from April 1, 2016.

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Medical Fraternity Asks Central Government To Withdraw GST on Hand Sanitizers, Masks

Hospitals, ambulance, nursing and support staff desperately require sanitisers, masks and other protective equipment in 24x7 mode

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, hospitals, ambulance, nursing and support staff desperately require sanitisers, masks and other protective equipment in 24x7 mode. Pixabay

In the wake of the increasing threat of Covid-19, the medical fraternity has asked the government to consider withdrawing GST on hand sanitiser and masks in these ‘difficult times’.

“We understand that certain ingredients (in sanitisers) are taxable, still in these difficult times or at least for next few months, hand sanitisers should not attract GST,” said Sandeep Sharma, President of Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) Delhi branch.

According to Sharma, hospitals, ambulance, nursing and support staff desperately require sanitisers, masks and other protective equipment in 24×7 mode.

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“We require all these items in bulk, but at present we are paying 18 per cent GST on sanitisers and 5 per cent on masks etc. Besides, medical practitioners and public at large also require hand sanitisers and masks as a major preventive measure to keep away from the highly infectious virus. It would be a big relief for people if GST is not levied on these items,” said Sharma, who coordinates with all leading chains of top private hospitals and doctors.

Meanwhile, the President of the Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI), Roy K George, has appealed to all the state governments to ensure urgent and smooth supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), and essential items like masks and sanitisers to serve patients and combat the spread of the infectious disease to the medical staff.

Envato, Covid, Corona Virus, Corona, Virus, Gloves
In the wake of the increasing threat of Covid-19, the medical fraternity has asked the government to consider withdrawing GST on hand sanitiser and masks in these ‘difficult times’. Pixabay

“Our state associations, particularly from Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, have informed us that adequate supply of PPEs, masks and sanitisers has to be provided to the nurses and other medical staff,” said George, adding, “What happened in Mumbai, where 26 nurses tested positive for Covid-19 in private hospitals, suggest that frontline soldiers of the this war against virus need more attention in terms of equipments and medical kits.”

TNAI, founded in 1908, has 6 lakh nurses as its members, making it one of the largest associations of nurses in the world. It has postponed all its celebrations related to the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, legendary social reformer and founder of modern nursing.

ALSO READ: Actor Arjun Kapoor Pledges To Donate To Various Coronavirus Relief Funds

While nurses world over combat the dreaded infectious disease, the WHO has declared 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife in honour of Florence Nightingale. (IANS)