05.01.2024: Millers seek waiver of GST on rice, reasonable power slab for rice mills

Rice millers on Thursday said that a waiver of GST on rice and a separate reasonable power slab for rice mills will help bring down the price of rice in the market.  

Addressing presspersons here, D. Thulasingam, president, Federation of Tamil Nadu Rice Mill Owners and Paddy Rice Dealers Association said that an increase in power tariff, rise in demand for super-fine variety, imposition of GST and hike in transportation costs were the reasons for higher rice prices in the market.  

Federation secretary A. C. Mohan said that the increase in power tariff came as a heavy blow to the industry, which was a seasonal one. “We are paying ₹150 per kilo watt of power capacity in the place of ₹35 per kilo watt as fixed charge even during non-season when paddy is not processed. The per unit charge has also gone up. We have been urging the government for a separate slab for rice mills since this is an essential commodity.” 

Mr. Thulasingam said that till the GST regime came into force, only five States in the country had been collecting tax on rice. “Now it is being levied uniformly. Earlier, it was imposed only on branded rice. But now any food grain will attract GST. This should be done away with,” he said.  

Dr. Mohan said that despite a ban on export of super-fine and raw rice varieties and a 20% customs duty on par boiled rice, exports continue leading to increased demand and increase of price in the market. “The harvest season is just around the corner. We hope that new arrivals would help push down prices,” he added.  

Source: The Hindu

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