It is indeed surprising of our decision-takers which comprise of finance ministers of central and all state governments that rate of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on harmful sweets is kept in the lowest slab of 5 per cent, while the other item of namkeens sold by same confectioners is in GST slab of 12 per cent. It is beyond understanding why and how such confusing, irrational and anti-public rate-structure is set for GST that too when there have been many deliberations on GST rate-structure.
GST on sweets should be increased to 12 per cent firstly to discourage use of sweets, and secondly to have a rational structure wherein confectioners by and large may be covered under single-rate structure for their products. Moreover, it is observed that most confectioners selling unbranded sweets and namkeens charge GST from customers, but take it as extra profit by not issuing invoices or cash-memos. There should be strict warning displayed prominently at shops of every confectioner covered by GST which should also guide customers to insist on cash-memos. Confectioners should be warned of cancelling of licenses in case they do not resort to practice of issuing cash-memos and invoices without even being asked by customers.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)