MADURAI: To eliminate hardships faced by traders and make a fortune, the Agrofood Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Madurai, has sought the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to form a Group of Ministers (GoM) to look into the pain points in the implementation of GST.
“On average, assesses collect and pay more than rupees 1.4 lakh crore every month and submit its recommendations before every ensuing GST council,” S Rethinavelu, president of the chamber said on Saturday.
Most of the recommendations of the GST council in its 47th meeting were against the interest of trade, industry and consumers too. “When the Chamber was demanding for exemption of essential food products whether branded or not, it came as a rude shock that the exemption granted hitherto on specified food items, grains etc., whether unbranded or right on the brand had been foregone, has now been withdrawn for pre-packaged and pre-labelled retail pack in terms of Legal Metrology Act,” he said.
Much to agony, the increase of GST rate from five percent to 18 per cent on wet-grinder is a blow to the MSME sector involved in its manufacture. Manufacturers of branded food products are being driven from pillar to post.
When exemption was granted for essential branded food products, if the rights on the brand had been foregone, the branded manufactures, who were unable to face the competition from tax exempted unbranded producers had withdrawn their brand name, close to their hearts, developed at an enormous cost spent for several years on advertisements. Now they are also taxed.
“All these measures would jack up prices of several commodities. In spite of repeated representations to GST council and finance ministry from several chambers of commerce across India to address various pain points, the GST council has not looked into it during the meeting. But the council’s only concentration is to increase tax revenue,” he said.