Agri Business

Fishmeal producers plan strike over retrospective levy of GST

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on July 31, 2019 Published on July 31, 2019

The All-India Fishmeal and Oil Manufacturers’ and Merchants’ Association has said that its members will go an indefinite strike from August 1 over the retrospective levy of GST on fishmeal with effect from July 1, 2017.

Addressing presspersons in Mangaluru on Wednesday, Pramod Madhwaraj, Chairman of the association, said the government is resorting to ‘coercive measures’ to realise the tax claims from July 1 2017 up to December 31 2018.

Confusing levy

He said the notification of the GST Council was ambiguous about GST levy on fishmeal when the GST was introduced on July 1, 2017. However, a clarification was issued on December 31 2018 saying that fishmeal is taxable at 5 per cent with effect from July 1, 2017. This move has been initiated in spite of the notes to the GST Council by the Karnataka government to exempt fishmeal from GST.

Stating that the matter has been brought to the notice of the ministers concerned at the Centre, Madhwaraj said the department has started forcing the industries to pay tax from July 1, 2017, which the industries did not collect from their clients. Such a measure has resulted in the stoppage of business transactions.

He requested the Centre to nullify the circular dated December 31, 2018. He said the members of the All-India Fishmeal and Oil Manufacturers’ and Merchants’ Association have been forced to go an an indefinite strike from August 1 as no other option is available to them now.

Terming Karnataka coast as the hub of fishmeal industries, he said 34 of the 56 fishmeal and oil manufacturers in the country are functioning in the State. Other units are spread across the states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Andhra Pradesh. Each unit provides not less than 500 direct employment. The fishmeal and fish oil industry helps generate a foreign exchange of around ₹2,000 crore.

Khader HK, president of the association, said fishmeal is used as an input in aquatic and shrimp feed industries. Fishmeal is made from fish that is unsuitable for human consumption.

Published on July 31, 2019
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor