Patanjali joins traders, industry in demanding lower GST rates

Even as goods and services tax (GST) is in the last lap of being rolled-out with the government sticking to July 1 deadline, a section of industry has pitched for revisiting tax rates in the new regime.
They claim the proposed ‘high’ rates are causing anxiety among traders.
The development comes close on the heels of industry body Assocham seeking relaxation in penalty provisions for genuine errors in filing returns and computation of tax liabilities. It had said the industry remained concerned over challenges posed by the indirect tax reform in the transition phase.
The Confederation of All India Traders (Cait) on Sunday said that classification of different items under various tax slabs of GST has created an environment of anxiety and concern among the trading community across the country.
This has led to various verticals of retail trade demanding lower tax on the items being dealt by them since they have been categorised under higher tax slab in comparison to tax slab of current VAT tax regime.
As per an analysis, about 1,211 goods and 36 services have so far been classified under GST, out of which nearly 50 per cent goods have been placed under 18 per cent rate, 14 per cent goods under 5 per cent rate, 17 per cent goods under 12 per cent slab and 19 per cent goods under the 28 per cent rate. The GST Council is yet to decide tax bracket for items like textiles, gem & jewellery and footwear, among others.
“In view of growing discontent about proposed GST rates, the CAIT has urged the government to revisit the rate schedule,” the Delhi-based trade body said in a statement. But the government remains firm on the implementation deadline of the GST and is expected to announce the rates for remaining goods in a meeting of the GST Council on June 3.
“The roll out date remains unchanged at July 1,” revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia said on Twitter. Meanwhile, Baba Ramdev led Patanjali Ayu-rved has also expressed disappointment over GST rates applicable on ayur-vedic products asking how the government would provide “care & cure to common man at affordable price.”
Echoing a similar view, the Association of Manufacturers of Ayurvedic Medicines (AMAM) said, “The Indian government has been aggressively promoting Ayurvedic products internationally, but what’s the point of doing these things when the tax rate is so high and the common people can’t afford it at home?” questioned AMAM general secretary Pradeep Multani.