GST Exemption sought for import of life saving medicines

A parliamentary panel has asked the Centre to provide GST exemption for imported pharmaceutical products used by hospitals or scientific organisations in research on life-saving medicines and treatments. The PAC, chaired by Congress member Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, also said providing incentives to organisations such as cancer institutes would greatly aid in developing medicines to treat serious and life-threatening ailments.

The committee recommended that the Ministry may place the matter before the GST Council for exempting imports of pharmaceutical products to those organisations that are carrying out serious research in scientific fields. “The committee are also of the view that hospitals carrying out research on life-saving medicines and treatment may also be considered for being extended the benefit of exemption,” the Committee said.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in its report on “Improper exemption of IGST on import of pharmaceutical products” observed that the issue of frequent notifications and then clarifications pertaining to certain imports made by public-funded research institutions is indicative of lack of clarity and coordination among the different wings of the same department. The committee has, therefore, recommended that the Tax Research Unit (TRU)/CBIC ensure that notifications include examples for clarity and court cases be made searchable with key words, and also develop an interface for quick resolution of assessing officers, doubts.