News

Volume 8 Issue 7 - April 01, 2011

Finance Minister ends medical misery, rolls back tax

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: The healthcare and disability sector can heave a sigh of relief as Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has agreed to roll back the 5 per cent ‘misery’ tax on centrally air-conditioned hospitals and diagnostic centres.

Faced with opposition and criticism from medical fraternity, the Finance Minister said: “I have decided to exempt the new levy in its entirety, both in respect of services provided by hospitals as well as by way of diagnostic test until Goods & Services Tax (G.S.T.) comes into force.”

The move was widely welcomed by the healthcare industry and the common man. Dr Devi Shetty, who had led the opposition to the new tax, said: “I met the Finance Minister two weeks ago and at that time, he was of the view that the tax would hurt the common man and he would like to do something about it.”

Javed Abidi, activist leading the disabled sector attributed the rollback to the pressure created by civil society. “I would urge we don’t stop just with this. We must make health care affordable and accessible,” he said.

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