A plea filed before the Apex Court seeks to exempt the drugs used against Covid-19 such as Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, Favipiravir, and equipment provided for Covid-19 care from Goods and Services Tax (GST). Public Policy Advocates, an NGO, through Advocate Astha Sharma, filed a plea as an application to scrutinize the Covid-19 issue before the Supreme Court.
In light of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the applicant requested the court to indicate the Central Government to invoke its powers per section 11 of the Central GST act 2017 to exempt the drugs and medical equipment used to treat the virus from GST. Moreover, to examine the issue, a meeting should be held by the GST council per section 11 prayed by the plea.
When it comes down to the Remdesivir drug, the contention made was that looking at the increased demand for this critical drug, the product is exempted from the 12% GST, which in turn would lower the overall price of the product, thus making it significantly affordable to the general public.
Lastly, the application states that the never-experienced before situation demands the price of such a crucial drug be exempted from the purview of GST since it directed towards saving and protecting the lives of countless people from the Covid-19 infection. Also, the step deemed to be a public necessity as part of the commitment of the Welfare state to raise the standards of public health.