K M Dayashankar
KARIMNAGAR: The Union Government’s decision to impose five (5) percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) on curd, butter milk and lassi, has come as a rude shock to the consumers and the dairy sector.
The imposition of GST on high demand milk products of curd, buttermilk and lassi etc has increased the prices burdening the common man from July 18, 2022. “It is illogical to impose GST on the milk products when everyone consumes curd and lassi along with their meals”, said KS Narayana, a Lok Satta udyama samstha activist.
“It is surprising to note that the Union government had imposed 3 per cent GST on gold and 1.5 per cent of GST on diamonds. Ironically, it has imposed 5 per cent GST on milk products such as curd, lassi and buttermilk, which are a daily food for any individual in the country”, said M Gangadhar, a retired government lecturer. He ridiculed the government for imposing GST on daily consuming food items.
At a time when cost of dairying is increasing, the GST Council decision to impose 5% tax on curd, butter milk, and lassi has come as a dampener for the dairy sector. Dairy sector is a source of livelihood for people in the lower strata of society. The GST on high-demand milk products such as curd, lassi, and butter will force us to increase the prices that may affect the intake by consumers,” said Ch Rajeshwar Rao, chairman, Karimnagar Milk Producer Company limited also known as Karimnagar Dairy.
In a memorandum sent to Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Seetharaman and Telangana Minister for Finance T Harish Rao, the Karimnagar Dairy chairman urged the government to exempt the dairy milk products from the purview of GST as the decision will put severe stress on the sector, which is already under strain due to a rise in production cost.
Stating that the Karimnagar Milk Producer Company was owned by one lakh milk producers and spread over 20 districts of Telangana state serving milk and milk products, he said that the GST on milk products would affect the small dairy farmers. The dairy sector is the livelihood source of many small farmers, the government should protect their interest and exempt GST, he urged.
Milk consumers are price conscious. As milk and milk products are essential goods, the government should consider a rollback of the decision, he said. The consumption of set curd and lassi is on the rise in the Telangana state. The new GST will affect both the producers and consumers, he stated.