Scientists criticize GST hike on scientific equipment

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Scientists criticize GST hike on scientific equipment

  • Several scientists have expressed displeasure with Centre’s decision to increase GST rates on scientific equipment.

Key highlights

  • Recently GST Council approved changes to rates on various goods and services.
  • This included a decision to do away with concessional GST rate of 5% applicable to scientific equipment and increase it to anywhere between 12% and 18%.
  • This would mean 6%-12% hit on research funds available to laboratories for their expenditure.

Other concerns

  • Union Ministry of Science and Technology had a drop of 3.9% in its budget in the 2022-23 Union Budget.
  • In April 2021, scientists from labs all over the country signed a petition pointing out that “Atmanirbhar Bharat” policy had made import of scientific equipment and reagents a tedious and time-consuming process.
  • It requires approval at the level of Secretaries of Ministries or departments.

Prelims take away

  • GST Council
  • Union Budget - Constitutional provisions