Agri experts urge govt to reduce GST on agro-chemicals to 5%

New Delhi: Drawing the attention of the government over achieving the sustainable development goals in agriculture, a group of experts in the agriculture sector has urged the Centre to consider reducing the Goods and Service Tax (GST) rate slab on agro-chemical inputs for the farm sector from current 18 per cent to 5 per cent at the maximum.

Pushing the demand on half of the farmers, former agriculture commissioner Dr. CD Mayee opined that the agrochemical industry acts as a backbone to our farmers and assures them of high yield with better quality produce while mitigating crop losses.

"In view of the climate changes and emerging threats of pest and disease, there is an urgent need to overhaul the regulatory system for the introduction of new and innovative chemistries and technologies. There is also an urgent need to revise the GST slab on agrochemical inputs for the farm sector," Mayee said.

Notably, the 47th meeting of the GST Council, which would be chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is scheduled to be held in Chandigarh from June 28 to June 29.

On the issue, the chairman of FICCI Committee on Crop Protection RG Agarwal said, "The 18 per cent GST on agrochemical is not justified and it should either be zero or brought down to a maximum of 5 per cent at par with fertilisers."

Agarwal, who heads Dhanuka Group, also said that high GST on crop protection chemicals hurts small and marginal farmers by increasing their input cost and prompting them to use these essential ingredients in sub-optimal quantities that bring down their farm output and financial health.

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