Traders at the Grain market of Agriculture Produce Market Committee Mumbai (APMC) in Vashi have opposed the move of imposing a 5% GST on unregistered brands. They said that the decision will impact the small traders and finally end-users like common people. It will push the inflation further which is already high.
The Grain, Rice and Oilseeds Merchants’ Association (GROMA) is in touch with trade associations in other states to oppose the move.
Last week, a group of ministers (GoM) reviewing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates decided to remove an exemption for packaged food items, if sold under unregistered brands. Now, these items will attract a 5% GST like branded food items.
Bhimji Bhanushali, secretary of GROMA, Navi Mumbai, said that the decision will impact severely on small traders and common people.
“The decision will be directed to poor people as almost all food items, especially grains will see at least 5 per cent raise,” said Bhanushali, adding that the majority of the food grains are bought by the middle class and economically weaker sections are unregistered brands.
“Around 360 market yards in Maharashtra will hold a meeting and if required, we will close the market to oppose the move,” said Bhanushali.
Similarly, Shankar Thakkar, National President of Edible Oil Traders’ Association (EOTA) and President of the Mumbai region of Federation of All India Traders said that the decision has come at a time when the whole country is reeling under inflation and it will push the inflation even more. “We strongly oppose the decision,” said Thakkar.
According to Thakkar, former finance minister late Arun Jaitley had given a complete exemption to non-branded cereals and pulses by including them in essential things.
“The decision will establish the monopoly of big marketing companies or corporations with their power money. Small traders with less than Rs 40 lakh will be wiped out,” said Thakkar.
Small traders who cater to customers from cities to small villages will no longer survive and this will impact common people living on limited incomes.
“This provision of GST on non-branded items will create more unemployment and end-users will have to face monopoly in the form of double price of the same products,” Thakkar added.