Govt of India "undermines" anti-tobacco cause: GST exemption to businesses with Rs 40 lakh turnover

The decision of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, which consists of the finance ministers of centre and all the states, to exempt businesses with turnover of Rs 40 lakh, raising the threshold from Rs 20 lakh, would, ironically. give a big boost to the beedi manufacturing units, most of whom, according to experts, fall within the Rs 40 lakh limit.
“This would indirectly undermine the Government of India campaign to fight tobacco”, a social activist fighting for tobacco free India told CounterView, adding, “Before GST came into force, there was no tax on beedi manufacturing units producing more than 20 lakh beedis. At the Rs 20 lakh threshold, the no-tax regime, for all practical purposes, was applicable to the units producing up to 30 lakh beedis.”
The activist underlined, “Now, with the new norm, proposed by the GST Council, nearly 98% of beedi manufacturing units would be out of the tax net. This would help them expand their activities, even as earning more profits at the cost of human health.” He added, "The Government of India should ensure that the social cause of fighting tobacco, which causes cancer, is not discouraged."

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