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Last updated: 27 Jun, 2017  

west-bengal-mapTHMB.jpg Bengal's sweet makers oppose GST; says can put SMEs out of biz

sweet-bengal.jpg
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SME Times News Bureau | 27 Jun, 2017
Protesting against the proposed imposition of five percent Goods and Services Tax (GST), sweetmeat manufacturers in West Bengal on Monday demanded the full exemption from the new tax regime.

They also apprehended that the small manufacturers would no longer be able to continue with the business and the Rs 50,000 crore industry will be affected, if the proposed five percent GST is imposed on the products.

"We have been demanding the full exemption in the GST regime as against the proposed five percent tax. We had used to pay sales tax about 20 years ago and later, it was withdrawn. The sweetmeat manufacturers were exempted from Value Added Tax regime," Paschimbanga Mistanna Byabasayee Samity's General Secretary R.K Paul told reporters.

He explained manufacturers procured their raw materials and ingredients from unorganised sectors and thus they would find difficulties to claim the input tax credit.

"Many of raw materials suppliers are unorganised. They do not maintain books of accounts and they do not raise bills. How can we claim input credit in the GST regime?" he said, adding that it would be difficult for the tiny manufacturers to maintain the book of accounts.

As many as 1.5 lakh manufacturers and 7.5 lakh workers will be affected, he said.

Manufacturers also alleged that the state government did not pay heed to their demand though "it is keen to set up Misti hub (Sweet hub)", said Samity's Assistant Secretary Jayanta Barat.

Manufacturers also claimed in the GST, no tax would be levied on milk, 'chhena', and paneer which are mainly used as ingredients for sweetmeats but imposing five percent tax on sweetmeat was "unjustified".

They threatened to go on a strike if their demand is not addressed.
 
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