New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: The crucial meeting of the GST Council to decide on extending tax concession to 11 COVID-19 drugs and review tax rates of over 4-dozen items, like oncology medicine and coconut oil, began here on Friday. The 45th meeting of the GST Council, chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprising state finance ministers, is the first physical meeting since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The last such meeting took place 20 months ago on December 18, 2019.

Since then the council has been meeting via video-conferencing. Friday's meeting does not have the provision of video conferencing and almost all state finance ministers, except Gujarat, are attending the meeting. The council would also discuss the modalities of compensation payable to states from July 1, 2022. Also, taxing petrol and diesel under the single national GST tax.

Here are the LIVE Updates from 45th GST Council Meeting:

8:48 pm: E-commerce operators Swiggy, Zomato to pay GST on restaurant service supplied through them; tax to be charged at point of delivery: FM

8:43 pm: Pens to attract single GST rate of 18 pc; 12 pc GST on specified renewable sector devices: FM Sitharaman after GST Council meeting

8:40 pm: GST Council felt it isn't time to bring petroleum products under GST regime: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

8:35 pm: GST rate on biodiesel which is supplied to oil marketing companies for blending with diesel have also been reduced from 12% to 5%: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after 45th GST Council meeting, in Lucknow

8:32 pm: GST rate on fortified rice kernels for schemes like integrated child development schemes have been recommended to be reduced from 18% to 5%: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after 45th GST Council meeting, in Lucknow

8:29 pm: GST rates on Retro Fitment Kits for vehicles, used by persons with special disabilities, have also been reduced to 5%: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after 45th GST Council meeting, in Lucknow

8:26 pm: Similarly, cancer-related drugs - Keytruda - along with similar other medicines used in the treatment of cancer as per Health Ministry or Dept of Pharmaceuticals are being recommended that they should come down from 12% to 5%: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

8:24 pm: GST rate on seven other medicines, which are recommended by Dept of Pharmaceuticals, have also been recommended for reduction from 12% to 5%. That is also extended till 31st Dec 2021: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after 45th GST Council meeting, in Lucknow

8:20 pm: The concessional GST rates on Corona-related medicines have been extended till December 31st, 2021: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after 45th GST Council meeting, in Lucknow

8:15 pm: Amphotericin B - nil rate, Tocilizumab - nil rate, Remdesivir - 5% , anticoagulants like Heparin - 5%. These concessional rates which were valid till September 30th are now being extended till 31st December 2021: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after 45th GST Council meeting

8:10 pm: We have seen in the last one year and probably earlier that some life-saving drugs, which are not connected with Corona and are very expensive. Exemptions have been given for such drugs: FM Nirmala Sitharaman after 45th GST Council meeting, in Lucknow

8:05 pm: I am giving the names of two because those two are very expensive drugs - Zolgensma and Viltepso. These two are very important drugs which cost something like Rs 16 crores. So the council has decided to grant exemption from GST for these 2: FM after 45th GST Council meeting

8:02 pm: Drugs that are suggested by the Ministry of Health for treating muscular atrophy, on the recommendation of Health Ministry and Dept of Pharmaceuticals, are also exempted for IGST on import for personal use: FM Nirmala Sitharaman after 45th GST Council meeting, in Lucknow

8:00 pm: There are some life-saving drugs not connected with #COVID19, but are very expensive, for which exemptions are being given. There wouldn't be #GST on them - Zolgngelsma and Viltepso costing around Rs. 16 Cr will now be exempted frm GST.

7:55 pm: We have taken quite a few people-friendly decisions, I am very happy that some of them are long-pending, announces FM

7:50 pm: The GST Council met in person after nearly 2 years FM begins the media conference with a word of thanks to the Chief Minister and Finance Minister of Uttar Pradesh for hosting the meeting.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan