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Government pegs 18% GST rate for sanitisers

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Hand sanitisers are classified as an essential commodity, but GST law has a separate list of exempted goods.

The government has announced that sanitizers are disinfectants like soaps, anti-bacterial liquids, dettol, among others, which attract 18% duty under the GST regime. The Finance Ministry said various chemicals, packing materials and input services, among others, used for manufacturing hand sanitizers also attract a GST rate of 18%.

Reducing the GST rate on sanitizers and other  similar  items will lead to an inverted duty structure and put domestic manufacturers at a disadvantage vis-a-vis importers of hand sanitizers, the ministry said. Lowering GST rates would make importing sanitizers cheaper as domestic industry would be at a disadvantage if raw materials are taxed at a higher rate than the end product.

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