Auto industry body SIAM has asked the government to exempt bigger ambulances with capacity of up to 13 persons from 15 per cent cess and charge only 28 per cent tax under GST. In the pre-GST era, all ambulances enjoyed concession in excise duty rate but after GST implementation, the finance ministry has exempted compensation cess only on ambulances that can carry up to nine persons. Ambulances with capacity of 10-13 persons, including driver, now attract top tax rate of 28 per cent with 15 per cent cess. “Cess on 10-13 seater ambulances has not been withdrawn under the GST. It is an anomaly and the government should exempt bigger ambulances as well from 15 per cent cess as has been done in the case of units which can carry up to 9 persons,” Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) Deputy Director General Sugato Sen told PTI. A bigger ambulance can have all the required medical provisions built into it which help in taking better care of the patient, he added.
Various automakers, including Tata Motors and Force Motors, which manufacture such vehicles, have suffered due to the increase in tax incidence as sales have been hit.”Sales have been impacted as people who had booked such vehicles are now refusing to take deliveries as cost has gone up,” Sen said.
He also pointed out that the industry was also facing another anomaly as the cess exemption for ambulances was applicable only to factory-fitted vehicles. “This may create complications when the ambulances are supplied from locations other than factory,” he said.