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Transformational infrastructure for healthcare – Budget 2021

The government has announced an amount of INR 35,000 crores for the vaccination programme in wake of Covid-19. However, the negotiations between Indian vaccine manufacturers had hinted at a ballpark figure of Rs 60,000-70,000 crores for only the procurement of vaccines during the first phase. Thus, the budgetary outlays falls short of the initial estimates. It is important to note that this estimate also excludes the costs for transformational infrastructure and storage at low temperatures, which have been estimated around $30-80 million.

Quote by Sidharrth Shankar.

Impact of COVID-19, on proposed inclusion of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) under the ambit of Goods and Services Tax (“GST”)

With the aviation sector reeling under the impact of COVID-19, the Government may propose inclusion of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) under the ambit of Goods and Services Tax (“GST”). Since GST is a creditable levy which can be offset against the GST liability suffered by the airlines on their revenues, the move would result in lower tax costs for the airlines and would provide the industry a much-needed relief from high operational costs.

While the proposal would require an approval from the GST Council, the budget may put forth a roadmap for this legislative change and initiate the process for building the consensus amongst Centre and the States on this sensitive matter, which has been a bone for contention for quite some time. This may subsequently pave the roadmap for inclusion of other petroleum products into GST over a period of time, starting with Natural Gas and extending to other petroleum products. “