Kerala Won't Impose GST On Essential Items: Kerala's Finance Minister

The Kerala government on Tuesday said it did not plan to charge goods sold by organizations like Kudumbashree, or tiny retailers in 1 or 2-kilogram packages, amid mounting outrage over the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on necessities.

K N Balagopal, the state’s finance minister, told the Kerala Assembly that although the choice would cause problems with the federal government, the state was unwilling to make concessions.

“In any case, Kerala does not plan to tax goods that are sold in 1 or 2 kilogram packages or in loose amounts by nonprofit organizations like Kudumbashree or in tiny shops. Even if this causes problems with the Center, “Informing the assembly was Mr. Balagopal. “On this, we are not prepared to give in. There, we had previously said this.” He said the state administration had previously communicated its position to the Centre.

“The CM wrote to them about these issues yesterday as well. We won’t be imposing it on independent retailers and small-time merchants. There is no disputing this, “Balagopal said.

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One of the nation’s most prominent women’s empowerment initiatives is Kudumbashree, a women’s self-help organization run by the Kerala government. It is involved in several businesses, including the operation of minor food manufacturing facilities.

According to Mr. Balagopal, branded businesses must pay a 5% tax on packaged goods, but this tax is waived if the packaging clearly states that the company is not “claiming the brand.”

There is still some doubt about this; he said, “therefore they (the center) have brought in the regulation to capture such firms.

Pinarayi Vijayan, the chief minister of Kerala, has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for prompt action on applying GST on necessities, stating that doing so would have a negative impact on the general public.

Mr. Vijayan drew attention to the fact that many small shops and millers pre-pack and have the commodities available for purchase so that consumers can acquire them right off the shelf without having to wait while the items are weighed and packaged.

In the letter, Mr. Vijayan said that this pre-packing was standard practice in most Keralan retail stores and that the current shift will negatively affect the many regular consumers who visit these stores for their necessary purchases.