At the time when the entire world is engulfed in COVID-19 pandemic, India has been proactively tackling the challenges through various measures undertaken by the Government – both at the Central and State level. Union Government has invoked its powers under Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and Disaster Management Act 2005 and is taking all possible steps to contain the spread of virus.
Large number of corporates and non-government organisations (NGOs) have come forward to help the state governments by donating COVID related material such as medical oxygen concentrators and related accessories, ventilators, vaccine, medicine etc. Similarly, many corporates have implemented policies for COVID-19 relief for employees. Under this, companies are undertaking COVID-19 vaccination programmes for the benefit of their employees and family members. As a part of the vaccination programme, companies enter into contract with third party healthcare service providers for administering the vaccine to employees and their family members.
Further, in certain cases, companies are procuring oxygen concentrators / cylinders (OCs) for the welfare of its own employees by making it available to them, as and when they need it. The OCs may be procured either locally or imported from outside India. Similarly, in these difficult times, quarantine facilities (either in owned or leased premises or in hotels) and online doctor consultation facilities are also facilitated by the employer to its employees.
With respect to the above measures taken by the employer, there are ambiguities relating to input tax credit (ITC) eligibility and taxability of certain transactions. The same are detailed in the attached representation.