Bhubaneswar, May 6: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday requested Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for exemption of GST on purchase of Vaccine for COVID-19 and financial assistance to States from Cess and Surcharges collected by Govt of India.
The Chief Minister expressed that this will strengthen our unified fight against COVID-19.
In a letter to Sitharaman, Patnaik said, “The States have been asked to purchase vaccines out of their own resources to cover the 18-45 years age group of the population. These purchases attract the Goods & Services 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 vacciantion.”
In this long and sustained effort required to fight COVID-19, it is important that the States are supported so that the entire country fights as one. Lack of finances should not affect any State affecting the entire country in turn, said Patnaik.
“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,” said the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister said, “This will strengthen our fight against the pandemic, including provision of vaccinations, free treatment, undertaking preventive measures and so on.”