Traders oppose inclusion of essential food grains under 5 pc GST

New Delhi, July 10 (Agency) The recent decision of the GST Council to levy 5 per cent GST on pre-packed and pre-labelled foodgrains, curd, butter milk etc has come under severe criticism of the business community of the country and the foodgrain associations. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has appealed to the GST Council, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and finance ministers of the states to withdraw the decision. BC Bhartia, National President, and Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), while condemning the decision, held finance ministers of the states responsible for the decision.The trade leaders said that surprisingly, the essential food grains have been taken under GST for the first time in India when State Governments and the Central Government in the GST Council together have planned levy of tax on pre-packed and pre-labelled food grain.

The decision will benefit big corporate houses at the cost of small manufacturers and traders, they claimed.Bhartia and Khandelwal said the rationale behind the opposition is that the both Central and State Governments are collecting as high as 28 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) on certain commodities to compensate for revenue losses in lieu of keeping agriculture produce out of the GST regime. Both leaders said so far state level meetings have been held in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and in the next week, the trade leaders will meet in West Bengal, Kerala, Gujarat, North Eastern States, Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. ‘It has been felt that the state finance ministers have failed in protecting the interests of small manufacturers and traders who are dealing in food grains and other items,’ the leaders alleged.