IPGA urges government to reinstate exemption of GST levied on pre-packed and pre-labelled agri products

India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), the apex body for the pulses trade and industry in India has urged the government to reinstate the exemption of GST levied on pre-packed and pre-labelled agri products.

IPGA has also raised concerns about the apprehension among traders and the unfavourable impact on farmers’ and consumers interest. IPGA is of the opinion that levying GST will further increase the domestic prices of pulses.

Mr. Bimal Kothari, chairman, IPGA said, “With regards to the levy of 5% GST on pre-packaged and pre-labelled agri products on basis of the recommendations given by the GST Council, IPGA is not in concurrence with the government on this specific policy. This notification issued by the Ministry of Finance is not in favour of both the farmers and end consumers. It will hurt the interest of domestic trade which is already severely impacted by the pandemic and other market conditions. We would like to draw the attention of the Government towards the effect on the trade which is hesitant now to operate in the domestic market. India is inching toward becoming self-reliant in pulses and such policies will act as speed breakers in the road of growth and progress. This is defeating the very purpose of the Government’s goals of doubling farmers’ income and self-sufficiency in agriculture.”

Mr. Kothari further added that, “IPGA would be representing to various ministries and Government authorities to reinstate the exemption of GST levied on pre-packed and pre-labelled agri products. IPGA understands the sentiments of the trade and is working in the best interests of all the stakeholders and shall strongly advocate that the pre-packed and pre-labelled agri products should not be brought under the purview of GST.”

There is ambiguity regarding the definition of pre-packaging and pre-labelling in the Legal Metrology Act and the recent notification issued by the Finance Ministry.

“IPGA is in the process of consulting legal experts for their opinion regarding the aforesaid levy of GST post which we shall put forth our suggestions to the Finance Ministry and other concerned authorities regarding the same. With festival season around and monsoon still stabilising, IPGA is expecting further shortages of pulses in the forthcoming crop year and believes that as the apex body for the trade, it is IPGA’s responsibility to bring this to the Government’s notice well in advance. Hence any such move, will further add to the downfall of the sector,” Mr Kothari added.

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