Bengaluru, January 18 : Karnataka government in a recent directive has come out with the decision to levy a luxury tax of 8% on each bed in a hospital’s intensive care unit(ICU). This would means patients and their families will now have to pay in addition to their mandatory charges another Rs 200-400 daily. The state’s commercial taxes department sent out a directive to hospitals across Bangalore last week in itself
Private hospitals charge anywhere from Rs 2,500 to more than Rs 5,000 per day per room in ICUs. However, the commercial taxes department justified its decision, saying hospitals already charge luxury tax on deluxe and super deluxe rooms. Private hospitals conglomerate has also justified the decision by providing their own logic to the decision.
“Hospitals collect more money from patients on the pretext of providing various facilities in these rooms, and it is natural that these have to be taxed,” it said.
According to the Karnataka Tax on Luxuries Act, 1979, ICUs which has the possibility of charging more than Rs 1,000 on a particular day, per bed can levy the luxury tax for accommodation.(ALSO READ : Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah slaps bureaucrat for stepping on his foot (Watch Video).
To vindicate its stand, the concerned department also cited Section 3E of the Act, which implies and puts stronger emphasis on amenities such as air conditioning, telephone, television sets, radio music, beds and extra beds provided in ICUs as luxury items.
Interestingly the Bihar state government has also followed suit including samosa also in the list of luxury items that will now attract a tax of 13.5% to fund development work. Salted snacks, sweets priced above Rs 500 a kilo and mosquito repellent were among other items listed under the category. (ALSO READ : Luxury tax makes samosa, mosquito repellents dearer in Bihar)