The Federation of Tamil Nadu Rice Mill Owners and Paddy-Rice Dealers Associations have implored to the Central government to not levy any Goods and Services Tax (GST) on rice.
Presently, GST is levied on both registered and unregistered rice brands that come in packs from millers. “Since most customers are used to rice from a particular mill, they recognise them by the images on the bags. They wouldn’t even know the name of the mill or from where the rice comes. In most cases, these are local brands and the rice is sold in a particular area. These people would have been selling rice for several generations now under the same name,” said Association President D. Thulasingam. Association Secretary A.C. Mohan also opined, “If GST for unregistered brands was to be waived, the government has directed us to print an undertaking on the bags that we will forgo any actionable claim over the brand/image on our bags. This is unfair and it is like giving up our hard-earned name among customers.”
“These unregistered brands should not be treated on a par with Basmati rice,” he said. Mr. Thulasingam also added that non-Basmati rice was the staple of 60% of the population. “We have written to the Central government urging them to waive GST for rice regardless of brands,” he said.