TN Finance Minister calls out recommendation to raise GST on coconut oiltext_fields
Chennai: Goods and Services Tax (GST) has recommended an 18% tax on coconut oil-packed and sold in a unit container less than 1 litre, prompting Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan to call out the move, terming it anti-southern states.
He said it was in bad faith and was against the interest of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The Minister is said to have made these remarks to GST Council.
He said that the Fitment Committee's recommendation that the coconut oil when packed in a container of less than one litre can be used as hair oil, attracting 18% was neither logic nor fairness.
He also questioned the criteria of deciding what is edible and what non-edible oil is. "How do you decide on one whole litre as the cut-off for even considering whether something is intended for edible use or not. It is an arbitrary cut-off point, bereft of human compassion and basic logic," he said.
He said many poor families could not afford to buy coconut oil more than one litter, citing other edible oils with multiple uses such as mustard oil or gingelly oil which have not been included in the category.
He questioned why only coconut oil should be singled out, as compared to other edible oils. He also said that the Tamil Nadu government found the proposal to be anti-poor and anti-south Indian states.