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Kerala Finance Minister said the state government would not levy GST on items sold by small businesses

Thiruvananthapuram: Amid mounting opposition to the introduction of Goods and Services Charge (GST) on vital goods, the Kerala government stated on Tuesday, July 19 that it does not plan to tax items supplied in 1 or 2kg packages by companies such as Kudumbashree or small retailers.

State Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal warned the Kerala parliament that the move would cause problems with the national government, but that the state was not willing to make concessions.

“In any case, we do not intend to tax things sold by organizations like Kudumbashree or in tiny businesses in 1 or 2-kilogram packages or in loose quantities in Kerala.” Even if it means causing problems with the Centre,” Balagopal addressed the Assembly. “We are not willing to make any concessions on this.” This was previously stated there.”

He stated that the state administration has already written to the Center to express its position.

“The CM also wrote to them about these issues yesterday.” We do not plan to impose it on small-scale dealers or small businesses. “There is no debate about this,” Balagopal remarked.

Kudumbashree, a women’s self-help organization run by the Kerala government, is one of the country’s major women’s empowerment programs. It is involved in a variety of projects, including the operation of small-scale food manufacturing operations.

According to Balagopal, branded firms must pay a 5% tax on packaged items, but if they state on the packaging that they are not “claiming the brand,” they are not charged.

“So they (the Union government) enacted the rule to capture such firms… “However, there is still some uncertainty about this,” he noted.

According to The Hindu, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman explained on July 19 that the GST Council has exempted all food goods, including wheat, pulses, rice, and maize, from GST when sold loose and not pre-packaged or labeled.

The Finance Minister further stated that the GST council unanimously decided to raise the GST rates, adding that all states were present and agreed to the move during the meeting on June 28.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s urgent involvement on the matter of the introduction of GST on vital items, claiming that the measure will badly harm the ordinary man.

Many small shops and millers, according to Vijayan, pre-pack and keep the commodities ready for sale so that customers can easily purchase them off the shelf rather than spending time getting the items weighed and packaged.

According to Vijayan’s letter, such pre-packing is customary in most retail establishments in Kerala, and the current shift would hurt the enormous number of regular consumers who frequent these shops for their vital purchases.

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