Exempt GST on TTD services: Yanamala Ramakrishnudu
In view of the forthcoming GST Council meeting on Friday, Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu demanded here on Thursday that Goods and Services Tax GST could be reduced on various services and products keeping in mind the interests of common man
Vijayawada: In view of the forthcoming GST Council meeting on Friday, Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu demanded here on Thursday that Goods and Services Tax (GST) could be reduced on various services and products keeping in mind the interests of common man.
Yanamala pointed out that since Tirumala Tirupati Devastanams was devoted to promoting Hindu Dharma, it was not proper to tax on its services. He further explained the TTD was not engaged in business and was only providing service to devotees as part of spreading Hindu Dharma and, hence, it deserved the total waiver of GST on its services.
The minister also pleaded with the GST Council to exempt tax on the products of Girijan Cooperative Corporation (GCC) to make the products of Girijans compete with the products of others.
AP State also sought waiver of GST on dry tamarind which is widely used in all households in south India, on a par with fresh tamarind, which had already been exempted from the tax.
Yanamala exposed another discrepancy in taxation. Napa slabs also known as Kadapa slabs which are widely used by poor are in 5 per cent slab category and Napa tiles figure in 18 per cent category.
This is objectionable, as there is a proposal to bring all stones, whether rough or cut and polished, under the 12 per cent category.
Though the tax on Napa tiles could be brought down from 18 to 12 per cent, it is not good to enhance tax on Napa slabs from 5 to 12 per cent.
It is, thus, not fair to treat Napa slabs on a par with granite which is taxed at 12 per cent.
Noting that handloom cloth varieties provide employment to lakhs of poor, Yanamala forcefully pleaded for waiver of GST on cotton hank yarn and silk yarn. “Tax on Zari which is at 12 per cent may be reduced to 5 per cent,” he said.
To help the 12,500 farmers and 50,000 farm workers, he said the country tobacco cheroot must be exempted from tax and, to start with, the tax on it could be reduced from 28 to 18 per cent.
In the same way, it is not proper to tax tractors, trailers and tractor spare parts highly and GST could be reduced from 12 to 5 per cent to provide relief to the farm community.
Likewise, the 5 per cent tax on fried grams could be exempted as it was used by common people.
Yanamala also appealed to the Council to reduce tax on movie tickets from 28 per cent to 18 per cent and, thereafter, from 18 to 12 per cent since movies are major entertainment for south Indians.
Exemption of tax was also sought on aqua feed supplements, waste plastic, jute twine, jute bags and containers, UHT milk, vehicles and other aids used by disabled persons and rice bran among others.
There is no justification for tax also on fish nets, fishnet fabrics, and fishermen boats, to provide relief to poor fishermen. The Council also should take a decision on whether the Extra Neutral Alcohol or ENA is liable for tax.
Though the GST Council had taken a decision on exempting tax on liquor licence fee, yet the notification in this connection is not issued so far.
Referring to 18 per cent tax on machinery, the minister said that it was burdening small and medium industries and added it could be reduced to five per cent. Likewise, tax on egg trays needed to be reduced from 12 to 5 per cent.
He said the preparation of vegetables, fruits and nuts should be reduced to 5 per cent from 12 per cent slab. Likewise, the tax on instant convenience foods like vada mix, idli mix and dosa mix and others should be placed in 5 per cent slab.
The breakfast cereals should be also be brought down from 18 to 12 per cent, he added. The minister also requested the Council to reduce tax on various items including fruit pulp or fruit juice, handicrafts, biscuits and utensils.