Farmers seek rollback of 5% GST on raw tobacco
The Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA) on Wednesday urged the government to rollback 5 per cent GST imposed on raw tobacco, saying "the move will severely endanger the livelihood of tobacco growers".
Calling the move unrealistic, the association, which represents millions of commercial crop growers, have also stalled auctions in all platforms fearing a steep fall in the market in the wake of the central government imposing Goods and Services Tax (GST) on tobacco leaves and unmanufactured tobacco.
They have also urged the government to consider tobacco as another agricultural crop due to its contribution to the country's economy.
"We, farmers from different auction platforms, in a display of protest took stock of the situation arising out of 5 per cent GST on reverse basis on tobacco leaves and 28 per cent on unmanufactured tobacco, and decided not to bring our produce to the market," said Gadde Seshagiri Rao, Vice President of FAIFA.
FAIFA members expressed their disappointment as they expected raw tobacco among the commodities that received GST relief at the GST-review meeting held on June 11, 2017.
Another FAIFA member and president of Virginia Farmers Association, Parimi Rambabu, said: "GST is threatening the market and livelihood of millions of farmers and farm workers."
He stated that tobacco crop should be treated like any other agricultural commodity.
The imposition of five per cent GST on raw tobacco will only endanger the lives of farmers whose one and only livelihood is the tobacco crop.