Nirmala Sitharaman chairs key GST meet

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today chaired the 44th GST Council meeting via video conferencing.

The meeting begin at 11 am, and a media briefing would be made later today on the decisions taken by the council.

The council, sources said, discussed a rate cut for Covid-19 essentials and medicine for mucormycosis.

The council also considered the recommendations of a group of ministers (GoM) set up to look into demands for tax relief on medical supplies to treat the coronavirus disease.

With the Centre agreeing to supply Covid vaccines free of cost to States from 21 June, States will not have to bear the 5 per cent tax burden on vaccine procurement.

Nirmala had explained the technical difficulties in removing the 5 per cent GST on Covid vaccines, saying it could be counter productive to consumers. But Opposition States argue that the Council should consider this relief given that it is a once-in-a century pandemic.