In a heartwarming gesture, the Indian government exempted Rs 7 lakh in goods and services tax (GST) to save the life of baby Niharika, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer known as High Risk Neuroblastoma (Stage-IV). Here’s how the story unfolded.
Baby Niharika’s Struggle
Baby Niharika’s family needed cancer medication costing a total of Rs 63 lakh, including a single injection costing Rs 10 lakh per vial. The parents requested help with the additional Rs 7 lakh in GST, which was unaffordable for them.
Shashi Tharoor’s Intervention
Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP, wrote to the Finance Minister seeking an exemption on humanitarian grounds. Initially, there was no response to the letter, and the injection was stuck at Mumbai airport due to Customs not releasing it without GST payment.
The Finance Minister’s Sympathy
Tharoor called the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, who was instantly sympathetic and arranged for an exemption, as per recent news reports. Sitharaman’s PS Sernya Bhutia also reached out to Tharoor and informed him that she had spoken to the CBIC Chairman Vivek Johri regarding the same.
The Happy Ending
Thanks to the government’s gesture, baby Niharika received her injection, and her life was saved. Even though the exchequer sacrificed Rs 7 lakh in GST income, Tharoor thanked FM Nirmala Sitharaman ji, PS Sernya Bhutia, and CBIC Chairman Vivek Johri, reaffirming his faith in government, politics, and humanity.
This heartwarming story showcases the power of humanity and government intervention. The government’s gesture to exempt GST on humanitarian grounds showcases that a small act of kindness can go a long way in saving a life. We hope that more such instances of compassion and kindness emerge in the future to help those in need.
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