Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday clarified about the decisions taken at the 47th GST council meet. She took to twitter as the opposition protests against the decision of imposition of GST on certain food items stalled the proceedings in the Parliament.
Sitharaman clarified that this is not the first time that food items are being taxed in India. She said many states were collecting significant revenue from food-grain in the pre-GST regime. Giving an example of Punjab she said the state alone collected Rs 2000 crore as a purchase tax.
The Finance Minister defended 5% GST on food items such as cereals, rice, flour and curd which are pre-packaged and labeled saying that the decision was taken unanimously by the council which consists of non-BJP ruled states as well.
She said earlier provision was rampantly misused by the brands to bypass the taxes and had to be corrected to bring these companies to pay the taxes because this in a way resulted in a loss for the Government.
Sitharaman further added that the Fitment committee consisting of officers from Rajasthan, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Haryana & Gujarat—had also examined this issue over several meetings and made its recommendations for changing the modalities to curb misuse and in this context the council took the decision.
She also clarified about the food items which will not attract the GST.