Nation Other News 09 Dec 2017 Kerala: GST impairs ...

Kerala: GST impairs Cochlear implantees hearing

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | NIDHIN T R
Published Dec 9, 2017, 6:35 am IST
Updated Dec 9, 2017, 6:35 am IST
The imported battery that costs Rs 7,800 with 14.5 per cent VAT was sold in the market for nearly Rs 10,000.
Representational image
 Representational image

THRISSUR: The children with hearing and speech disabilities in the state who have underwent free cochlear implant surgery under a government scheme are now finding it difficult to buy the components for the output unit due to the huge hike in the prices after the roll out of Goods and Service Tax. "The implant functions only with the help of the output device which consists of mike, processor, cable, coil and battery," Cochlear Implantees' Association state vice-president Simi Jery, based here, told DC.

"The imported battery that costs Rs 7,800 with 14.5 per cent VAT was sold in the market for nearly Rs 10,000. But the price has now suddenly gone up to Rs 13,000: the basic price has become Rs 10,000; and then there is a GST of 28 per cent.  The other related accessories such as chargers and adapters also come in the same GST slab. Besides that, coil and cable which were taxed less earlier now carry a tax of 18 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively. The coil now costs Rs 18,000 to Rs 20,000." These accessories need to be changed two to four times a year. 

 

She said there are more than 2000 kids in the state who have undergone the implant surgery. Of them, about 800 children were beneficiaries of the scheme the state government had launched in 2010.  According to Association members, the matter was taken up with finance minister Thomas Isaac to be presented in the GST Council. But Dr Isaac's demand for a reduction in GST did not get the required support as other states had no such government schemes, they said. "We are planning to file a memorandum with National Anti-Profiteering Authority in GST and the Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley by meeting him at Delhi," Mr Jery said.  "Our demand is to declare the hearing aid as a medical device which now has 5 per cent GST."

 

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Location: India, Kerala




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