THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is said to benefit Kerala in terms of life saving allopathic drugs, is set to spell doom for ayurvedic medicines and products with the proposed 12 per cent tax slab.
With the high tax incidence, ayurvedic products and medicines will be out of reach of the common man. The doctors say most of the drugs used for degenerative diseases, allergy and curative medicines will cost more.
Noting the government should alter the 12 per cent tax slab for ayurvedic medicines, the Ayurveda Medical Association of India (AMAI), which is the largest organisation of ayurveda doctors, said the high tax rate proposed under GST will make ayurvedic, siddha and unani medicines expensive and ultimately kill the small and cottage industries in this field.
Stating the price of almost all medicines would increase, AMAI general secretary Dr Rejith Anand said, “Now the ayurvedic medicines and products have a tax incidence of 7 per cent, including VAT. Under the GST regime, the 12 per cent slab will increase the medicine price and eventually the health care expenditure of the people”.
Some of the medicines likely to see a higher price are post delivery, allergic and arthritis medicines and drugs used against epidemics. For example, a person using ‘dasamoolarishtam’ regularly will have to spend `30 to `40 more a week.
It has also been said if homoeopathic products could be put under five per cent slab under GST, ayurvedic products should also be kept at the same rate, the doctors said. AMAI has also sent representations to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and state Finance Minister Thomas Isaac to bring down the tax slab for Ayurveda products.
In the memorandum the association requested Jaitley to review the GST rates and place all generic/ sastric ayurvedic medicines and preparations under NIL rate and all patented ayurvedic drugs and preparations under 5 per cent rate under GST in the interest of the public.
In the representation to Isaac, the association asked him to take up the issue in the GST council meet. Kerala, being the land of Ayurveda will be the most affected state due to the high tax. “We earnestly request you to kindly raise this issue in the upcoming GST council and pressure the Central Government to bring down the GST rates on generic ayurveda medicines from 12 per cent to 5 per cent,” the representation stated.
With the high tax incidence, ayurvedic products and medicines will be out of reach of the common man
The Ayurveda Medical Association of India said the government should alter the 12 per cent tax slab for ayurvedic medicines. It can be kept at five per cent as done for homoeopathic products