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  Metros   Delhi  01 Jun 2017  Community expresses concern on tax rates

Community expresses concern on tax rates

THE ASIAN AGE. | SUSHMITA GHOSH
Published : Jun 1, 2017, 4:49 am IST
Updated : Jun 1, 2017, 4:49 am IST

With the GST Council broadly approving tax rates of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent to be levied on certain goods from July.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
 Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: “The GST will not only have a severe impact on the livelihood of disabled persons, but will take away the basic necessities available to them,” says All-India Confederation of the Blind (AICB) vice-president Anil K. Aneja.

With the GST Council broadly approving tax rates of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent to be levied on certain goods from July, the persons with disabilities (PwD) community believes the GST imposed on their basic equipment, including Braille books, Braille watches and specially designed vehicles, will cause serious hardships for them.

Following this, the AICB, a self-help national organisation of the blind having 26 affiliates across the country, has written to Union finance minister Arun Jaitley requesting him to reverse the decision taken by the GST Council.

The confederation has also submitted a representation to minister of social justice and empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot, urging him to intervene in the matter on a priority basis to ensure that the 5 to 18 per cent GST is immediately withdrawn.

As per the discussions in the GST Council meeting held on May 18, while 18 per cent GST will be levied on Braille typewriters, Braille paper will have a GST of 12 per cent.

Braille watches, carriages for disabled and cars for physically handicapped will have a GST of 12, 5 and 18 per cent respectively.

The letter written to Mr Jaitley states that due to inadequate support from the government, NGOs have been work for empowerment of the PwD community while relying upon community resources, which are rather hard to obtain.

“The work was made a bit easier by exemption of various taxes and duties on these items, but the GST will have a serious negative impact on the efforts of the voluntary sector, which might even reduce providing services to disabled persons,” it said.

Claiming that most of the persons with disabilities come from economically weaker sections, Mr Aneja said that on one hand the government talks about promoting poor section, but on the other there is a clear example of taking away their benefits.

“This shows the complete duplicity of the government. GST on Braille equipment will affect the fundamental right to education of blind students as these will become more expensive. Also, this goes against the spirit of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016,” said Mr Aneja.

However, the AICB has decided to approach the Prime Minister if the GST on their basic items are not withdrawn or revised.

Tags: gst, arun jaitley, anil k. aneja
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi