CA Pradeep Jain,
CA Neetu Sukhwani &
Introduction:-The government led by Narendra Modi has made certain amendments that aim to streamline both social and environmental objects with a view to gain confidence of the public at large that supported them whole heartedly. One of such amendment is extension of exemption from the levy of service tax to the services provided with respect to Bio-medical waste treatment facility. With industrialization and technological advancement, it is also necessary to make proper measures and regulations as regards effective disposal and treatment of waste. Further, the waste that is generated from clinical establishments is more importantly required to be effectively disposed of as it is a waste that is capable of ruining the environment with incurable diseases which are highly communicable and may prove to be disastrous. Therefore, providing service tax exemption to operators of Common Bio-medical waste treatment facility is a appreciable step taken by the government that is for the benefit of public or say humanity at large.
Amendment in Mega Exemption Notification No. 25/2012-ST dated 20.06.2012:-
The Mega Exemption notification is being amended from time to time by way of insertion, deletion and modification of entries contained therein. Yet another entry 2B has been inserted vide Notification No. 6/2014 dated 11th July 2014 by this budget in the said notification after entry no. 2A which reads as follows:-
“2B. Services provided by operators of the Common Bio-medical Waste Treatment Facility to a clinical establishment by way of treatment or disposal of bio-medical waste or the processes incidental thereto”
Brief explanation of Bio-medical waste:-
Biomedical waste is waste that is either putrescible or potentially infectious. Biomedical waste may also include waste associated with the generation of biomedical waste that visually appears to be of medical or laboratory origin (e.g., packaging, unused bandages, infusion kits, etc.), as well research laboratory waste containing biomolecules or organisms that are restricted from environmental release. As detailed below, discarded sharps are considered biomedical waste whether they are contaminated or not, due to the possibility of being contaminated with blood and their propensity to cause injury when not properly contained and disposed of. Biomedical waste is a type of biowaste.
Disposal of this waste is an environmental concern, as many medical wastes are classified as infectious or biohazards and could potentially lead to the spread of infectious disease. Biomedical waste is generated from biological and medical sources and activities, such as the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of diseases. Common generators (or producers) of biomedical waste include hospitals, health clinics, nursing homes, medical research laboratories, offices of physicians, dentists, and veterinarians, home health care, and funeral homes.
It is well established fact that there are many adverse and harmful effects to the environment including human beings which are caused by the “Hospital waste” generated during the patient care. Hospital waste is a potential health hazard to the health care workers, public and flora and fauna of the area.
The Government of India specifies that Hospital Waste Management is a part of hospital hygiene and maintenance activities. This involves management of range of activities, which are mainly engineering functions, such as collection, transportation, operation or treatment of processing systems, and disposal of wastes.
As mentioned above the service provided by the persons or institutions for bio-waste management is a necessity for better environmental control. The proper management of biomedical waste has become a worldwide humanitarian topic today. As Bio-Medical waste management is essential requirement for welfare of human being and for the country as a whole, the service provider of the said service should not be covered under the head of taxable services. So Notification no.6/2014 which exempts the service of Bio-waste management is appreciable step of the government.