Industry body CropLife India demanded that the government reduce the GST rate of 18 per cent on crop protection chemicals, saying the high rate will burden farmers, reported PTI. The historic Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will subsume over a dozen taxes including excise, service tax, VAT and other local levies, is slated for a mid-night launch from July 1. "The GST rate for crop protection products needs to be reassessed and reduced from 18 per cent to the lowest denominator possible.
This step will safeguard equality across all agricultural units and reduce the unnecessary encumbrance on the farmer," CropLife India Director Rajshekhar Sakhalkar said in a statement. Crop protection products are being taxed higher when compared to other agri-inputs. For instance, seeds are exempted, while 12 per cent GST is slapped on both fertilisers and tractors, he said.
"Putting crop protection chemicals in a higher bracket increases the burden on farmers," he said, and added that GST introduction has left farmers "confused and worried" despite a good monsoon. CropLife India is an association of R&D-based crop science industry with a membership of 14 companies engaged in the manufacture, import and distribution of crop protection products.