GST on Food: The GST Council stated the confused trade results on applying a tax on branded food items. Even though the Council has not altered the rates on food such as -0 percent on Unbranded’s and 5 percent of branded stuff and after the discussion with many small traders who didn’t levy GST prior said they could come under the 5 percent slab.
Large traders could absorb GST in several ways While they predicted some increase in consumer prices, large players said they could absorb GST in many ways and keep prices steady. Sushil Sureka, general secretary of the Ahilya Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Indore.
“Trade is confused and hence on behalf of our chamber, we have asked our members to go ahead and charge 5 per cent GST,”
After the GST Council meeting, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told that there was a creation of inequality in trade when statement defining the application of GST came after some businesses were found without registering their brands and selling under the corporate brand name without paying tax after the Council excused unbranded food from the new all-encompassing indirect tax.
The council had decided not to levy the tax for the stuff which is sold open, but there will be 5 per cent GST if an item had a registered trademark as of May 15, 2017. If a product had a trademark, GST would be charged or name on which it is entitled to maintain an actionable claim.
Trader from Delhi told that No one is clear as to what constitutes an actionable claim
“It seems that all items, whether registered or non-registered, will be taxed… Utter confusion and chaos have been created among all the trade participants.”
He also added that this is because no item is sold without the firm’s name,
“Under (food industry regulator) FSSAI, goods are sold only with some mark or name; prices of all items will rise.”
The other traders told that can be any brand whether the product is registered, unregistered or resigned, will attract the 5 per cent GST. The council had clarified that part, but there is no clarity for manufacturer whether having the name of the product which is a legal requirement will also attract GST.
The Trader reported that for the time being, he had stopped the sale of unbranded products and bill everything as same with 5 percent GST.
In Surat, The Confederation of All India Traders has arranged a meeting to demand reduction in taxes required on items which are used by common man. The traders who sell branded products see the development as positive as it gives them a level selling techniques.
There is no confusion for Angshu Mallick who is a chief operating officer at Adani Wilmar, he said
“Any mark, symbol or brand name registered will pay GST,”
“Earlier people were missing this guideline. Yes, they were using reputed names and not paying 5 per cent GST. Now that confusion is over.
Siraj Chaudhry, chairman of Cargill India, told that he would wait for the council to announce its decision before making any judgments on the discussion.
“Consumers at the end of the day look at a final price inclusive of tax, he said. “For consumers, brands give the confidence to buy and brands provide consistency of quality.” “What we are hearing is only based on discussions with the council.
So we will need to see what is permanently put in the Gazette. The discussion should end the confusion without any issue from the intent of the law and ideas that are being made by different people.
Amit Mehta, managing director of McCormick that holds the ‘Kohinoor’ basmati brand, said the tax structure had given a level playing field for all the participants in the market with the words one nation, one tax structure.
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