HYDERABAD: Activists and leaders of the Communist Party of India (CPI) staged a demonstration on Tuesday in front of the GST Bhavan, Basheer Bagh, against collection of GST and other taxes on Covid vaccines and drugs used in the treatment of Coronavirus. They demanded an exemption from the GST on medicines used for the treatment of Coronavirus.
CPI state secretary Chada Venkat Reddy came down on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao for levying GST and other taxes on drugs used in treatment of Coronavirus. He said 5 per cent taxes were levied on Covid-19 vaccines, 12 per cent on remdesivir and antiviral drugs, 18 per cent on other drugs and oxygen concentrators, sanitisers, and 28 per cent on ambulance services. He contended that a family which was affected by the Corona, could not afford high-cost drugs and could not pay lakhs of rupees of bills incurred by private hospitals. Many families were forced to sell properties for payment of hospital bills. He demanded exemption of GST on Covid medicines, vaccines, oxygen concentrations and ventilators, as well as unconditional free vaccination on a war-footing to all people in government hospitals.
Former MP Syed Aziz Pasha said only 3.5 per cent of the population was vaccinated so far. Today with 2.89 crores positive cases, India had surpassed Brazil and Russia and failed to control the Covid epidemic. He expressed concern that the Central government showed an indifferent attitude during this severe crisis and collected nearly Rs 7,000 crores under GST and other taxes.
He accused the government of ignoring experts’ advice and grossly neglecting to strengthen the supply of medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccines. He demanded a waiver of all taxes on Covid drugs and vaccines.
CPI Hyderabad district secretary E.T. Narasimha said despite knowing that the corona epidemic was spreading like wildfire across the country, the Central and state governments had neglected to store medical oxygen and ventilators....