New Delhi, May 6: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today wrote a letter to Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman seeking exemption of GST on purchase of Covid vaccine.
Naveen has earlier announced free vaccination for citizens above 18 years. Naveen wrote that it’s a war-like situation and all our resources should be focused on winning this war against corona.
“The states have been asked to purchase vaccines out of their own resources to cover the 18 to 45 years age group of the population. These purchases attract the Goods and Service Taxes (GST) making the vaccines costly for the states. Hence GST needs to be exempted completely. It will reduce the cost for the States and facilitate our drive towards universal vaccination,” wrote Naveen.
He further wrote that lack of finances should not affect any state affecting the entire country in turn. “Hence the additional resources raised through various cess and surcharges on petrol, diesel, liquor etc which are exclusively available to the Union Government may be suitably shared with State Governments at this critical juncture. This will strengthen our fight against the pandemic including provision of vaccinations, free treatment, undertaking preventive measures and so on,” added the letter.