07.10.2022: Tamil Nadu: Our grievances not heard at GST council meet, says grain merchants

Tamil Nadu Foodgrains Merchants Association Limited has urged the chief minister to conduct meetings with stakeholders like manufacturers and traders before a GST Council meeting. They said that finance minister P T R Palanivel Thiaga Rajan has not met representatives of trade organisations to understand their grievances. Hence, a lot of demands, suggestions and recommendations are not forwarded to the council meetings.

Former finance ministers, after attending the council meeting, used to release press messages regarding the demands put forth by the Tamil Nadu government. This practice has been discontinued as well. The association pointed out that former chief minister M Karunanidhi and former commercial taxes minister S N M Ubayadulla accepted various demands from manufacturers and traders.

They made constructive changes, reducing the rate of taxation or giving exemptions to various food products during their period under VAT regime. A majority of food products and agricultural products were exempted from taxation during the period of Karunanidhi. But after the implementation of GST Act, various food products are levied at a higher rate of taxation, and the state suffers.

The association has met former Union minister Arun Jaitley many times before the implementation of GST and repeated memorandums helped in getting a lot of benefits like tax exemptions and reduction in the rate of taxation. Former state ministers K Pandiarajan and D Jeyakumar used to collect the opinions of stakeholders before attending GST Council meetings, the association pointed out.

It urged the state government to convene a meeting of stakeholders before the GST Council meeting happens again. The rightful recommendations and suggestions should be expressed at the council meeting through the finance minister, the association said in its letter to the chief minister.

Source: The Times of India 

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