Sunday, August 14, 2022

Scientists criticize GST hike on scientific instruments

The Union Ministry of Science and Technology was earmarked ₹14,217 crore in the Union Budget for 2022-2023 – a decline of 3.9% from the previous year.

The Union Ministry of Science and Technology was earmarked ₹14,217 crore in the Union Budget for 2022-2023 – a decline of 3.9% from the previous year.

Several scientists have expressed displeasure over the Centre’s recent decision to increase the rates of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on scientific instruments.

July 18, 47 th The GST Council meeting in Chandigarh approved changes in rates on several goods and services. It was decided to do away with the concessional GST rate of 5% applicable on scientific instruments and increase it to “applicable rates”, which means anywhere between 12% and 18%.

The scientists said this would simply mean a 6%-12% injury to the laboratories on the research funding available to them for their expenditure. “This will have a significant impact on our budget. Already our budget has been cut and this will be an additional setback. This has come as a surprise… and we hope the government will reconsider it,” said Satyajit Meyer, director of the National Center for Biological Sciences Hindu,

Professor at Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University N. “This is bad,” Raghuram said, “especially at a time when government funding for S&T is falling in real terms of purchasing power and the money available for research beyond salaries is falling. and also.”

Several scientists took to Twitter to express their discontent.

Amit Tuli, scientist at CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology tweeted, “I request all funding agencies to request @PMOIndia to withdraw this decision, otherwise science will suffer. We will all be affected by this decision.” “

Amitabh Bandopadhyay of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur tweeted that the grants sanctioned to research groups would now be insufficient for procuring equipment and consumables and hence funding agencies should increase their fund releases by 13% to mitigate the impact.

The Union Ministry of Science and Technology was earmarked ₹14,217 crore in the Union Budget for 2022-2023 – a decline of 3.9% from the previous year.

In April 2021, scientists from laboratories across the country signed a petition and wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, pointing out that the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” policy made the import of scientific equipment and reagents an “extremely tedious and time-consuming process”. “It was made. Approval is required at the level of Secretaries of Ministries or Departments. This reduced their ability to scale up testing by developing new testing platforms and affected their ability to rapidly and accurately sequence viral genomes for surveillance. This policy forced scientists to purchase from local laboratories, but given the nature of scientific research, many were unable to manufacture equipment or provide chemicals to precise standards.

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