GST shadow over fish trade in Telugu states

GST shadow over fish trade in Telugu states
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The fishermen, who are already facing hardships due to various reasons, now expressing concern over the new tax regime Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is scheduled to come into force from July 1. The fisherman community is annoyed over imposing GST even on purchase of dried fish.

Dry fish too come under GST net

Visakhapatnam: The fishermen, who are already facing hardships due to various reasons, now expressing concern over the new tax regime Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is scheduled to come into force from July 1. The fisherman community is annoyed over imposing GST even on purchase of dried fish.

The quantum of annual marine exports from the steel city is put at Rs 12,000 crore. And thousands of fishermen get their livelihood from fish trading and exports.

Currently, five per cent tax is levied on nylon ropes used for fishing. But it’ll be 18 per cent under GST. There will be tax on ropes and nets as well, eventually increasing tax burden on prawns and fish.

The dried fish will also attract 5 per cent GST. The GST burden on the fishing industry in Visakhapatnam is estimated to be Rs 60 crore. The fishermen are a worried lot now on account of GST on fishing industry. As there is no cold storage facility at the harbour here, the fishermen have only two alternatives.

Either they should dispose of fish at whatever price they get and dry the fish to sell them as dried fish. “Now, there is no benefit in drying fish as dried fish will attract tax.

We will be forced to sell fresh fish at whatever price market dictates as there is no cold storage facility in the city. The GST burden will take a heavy toll on our earnings,” a fisherman lamented.

The fishermen are seeking exemption from the GST. Earlier, they said, they used to pay seven per cent tax on one or two raw materials. The current rate of GST would put additional burden on them. So, they seek total exemption from the GST.

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