In a rapid turn of events steered through a national broadcast campaign, the Karnataka govt today called off the imposition of 8% luxury tax on ICUs after NewsX reported extensively about it on Monday. Health Minister of Karnataka spoke to NewsX to confirm that the tax department's move of taxing ICU service had been taken into reconsideration.
The Karnataka govt had earlier imposed a luxury tax of 8% on acquiring ICU service from hospitals with the new tax applicable on each bed. As ICUs are usually booked with immediacy depending on the situation of the patient, this financial decision from the Karnataka govt was criticised by NewsX as it translated to more burden on the common people.
However, sources revealed that albeit the luxury tax on ICUs has been recalled, luxury tax will be imposed on other beds, for example, an ICU patient who requires air-conditioning amenities and other luxury facilities.
Asked about the shift in tax which serves merely as a replacement for the former, UT Khader, Karnataka Health Minister said that he was not wary of the decision that the ICU tax had been shifted towards employment of other hospital facilities. The minister said that he would talk to the Chief Minister and discuss with the tax department about how they had levied this tax in the first place.
The Health Minister concurred with NewsX that ICU was a necessity, not a luxury.