'18% GST blows death knell to pickle industry'
18 per cent GST on pickles will blow a death knell to the industry, worries Rajheev Agrawal, CEO of Nilon's Enterprises Pvt Ltd of Pune. At present, he explained, 26 of the 29 states of the country tax pickles at the rate of 5 per cent. Karnataka imposes none, while Rajasthan and Kerala impose VAT on pickles at a higher rate. Add 2 per cent Excise to it and the weighted average of Octroi amounts to 0.1 per cent. That totals to 7.1 per cent tax on pickles at present, which the GST Council intends to raise to a whopping 18 per cent.
Pickle is a staple food for a very large part of the people of the country. When the prices of vegetables shoot through the roof, many impoverished are compelled to satiate their hunger just with chapati and pickles.