Tuesday, July 17, 2018


Food processing industry worried as GST list not clear on instant mixes
Tuesday, 12 September, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
The GST Council’s 21st meeting held in Hyderabad on September 9 that reviewed demand for correction in rates for items such as instant mixes and custard powder has failed to bring in cheer for the food processing industry. The key reason for this being omission of instant mixes and exclusion of fruit and vegetable pulps and purees from the new rates list.

While the listed items include batters like idli/dosa wherein the GST rates were reduced to 12% from 18% and custard powder in which case the rates were slashed from 28 to 18%, it refrained from naming instant mixes and mentioned only batters. The other items that received a favourable review included walnuts, tamarind dried and roasted gram for which the new GST rate would be 5% against the previous 12%.

Though the term instant mixes was left out, the industry was of the view that it needed to be treated at par with batter. Elaborating on the glaring omission, Dr S Jindal, president, AIFPA, pointed out that the finance minister had announced during his press meet that GST rate on instant food mixes have been reduced but the same was not included in the Tariff Notification.

Jindal stated, “This was a long-standing request from the food industry, we welcome the move and we are thankful to the finance minister for the review of GST rates on these products. However, what is truly deserved is a drastic reduction in the GST Rates of the entire range of instant mixes, which now days come handy for countless households where women are working and provide an economic alternative to nutritious food.”

He added that the food industry expected the finance ministry to give a relook to GST rates for fruit and vegetable pulps and purees, like mango pulp, guava pulp, banana pulp, tomato puree, ginger pulp, garlic pulp, tamarind pulp, papaya pulp, and orange pulp, which can help to save wastage of natural produce in the glut season and making the natural produce available for use to make consumer products in off season. In this manner the consumer will benefit and the grower will receive return for his produce.

Jindal suggested, “Such pulps and purees made of fruits & vegetables should be kept at nil rate at par with primary agro products.”
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