IPGA asked govt to reinstate the exclusion GST imposed on pre-packaged, pre-labeled Agri goods.
The India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), the leading organization for the Indian pulses trade and industry, has petitioned the government to reinstate the exemption from GST payable on pre-packaged and pre-labeled agricultural goods.
IPGA has also expressed worry about trader fear and the negative impact on farmers’ and consumers’ interests. The IPGA believes that imposing GST will raise domestic pulse prices even higher.
Mr. Bimal Kothari, chairman of the IPGA, stated, ‘With reference to the levy of 5% GST on pre-packaged and pre-labeled agro goods based on GST Council recommendations, IPGA is not in agreement with the government on this specific issue.’
‘This announcement issued by the Ministry of Finance is detrimental to both farmers and end users. It will harm domestic trade, which is already being harmed by the epidemic and other market circumstances. We would want to raise the government’s attention to the impact on trade, which is currently cautious to operate in the domestic market. India is on its way to being self-sufficient in pulses, and such measures will function as speed bumps on the road to prosperity and success. This undermines the Government’s objective of tripling farmers’ income and self-sufficiency in agriculture.’
Mr. Kothari went on to say that the ‘IPGA will be advocating various ministries and Government authorities to reestablish the exemption of GST payable on pre-packaged and pre-labeled farm products. IPGA appreciates the trade’s feelings and is working in the best interests of all stakeholders, and will firmly demand that pre-packaged and pre-labeled agro goods be exempt from GST.’
The definitions of pre-packaging and pre-labeling under the Legal Metrology Act and the latest notification issued by the Finance Ministry are ambiguous.
‘IPGA is in the process of contacting legal experts for their view on the aforementioned GST levy, following which we will make our recommendations to the Finance Ministry and other relevant authorities. With festival season approaching and the monsoon still settling, IPGA anticipates additional pulse shortages in the coming crop year and thinks that as the trade’s apex body, it is IPGA’s obligation to bring this to the Government’s attention well in advance. As a result, any such action will exacerbate the sector’s decline’ Mr. Kothari continued.