As GST Takes Effect, Non-frozen Beef Put in 'Nil' Slab
With the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime in place, the new tax is now being levied on a total of 1,211 commodities.
Representative image. (Photo: Reuters)
New Delhi: With the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime in place, the new tax is now being levied on a total of 1,211 commodities. Non-frozen bovine meat, including buff, has been placed under the 'Nil' slab. Industry leaders said this category refers to over-the-counter sale of meat in small shops.
The GST Rate Schedule, which was finalised after the GST Council meeting on May 18, under ‘meat and edible meat offal’ mentions "all goods other than in frozen state and put up in unit containers" in the 'Nil' category. This includes "meat of bovine animals, fresh and chilled" in addition to meat of swine, sheep, goats, horses, asses, mules and hinnies.
Haji Shahid Akhlaq, former BSP MP and one of western UP's largest meat exporters, told News 18, "If you look at the GST notification, you will find that frozen meat has been taxed in the 12% slab and there are no new taxes on meat exports. Similarly, non-frozen meat, including bovine meat, has not been taxed under GST. But you need to consider the people who sell this kind of meat. This is for the sale of over-the-counter sale of meat in small shops. These people already face a lot of hardships."
He added, "The small-scale meat traders in UP have already suffered a lot after demonetisation and Yogi Adityanath's crackdown on meat. I'm actually glad that the government has not taxed these poor people."
Shashank Agrawal, partner at Chartered Accounting firm DD Agrawal & Co., explained, "There are seven different types of slabs under GST. If a commodity has been placed under nil-rated goods, it will not be taxed. But since these shops are so small-scale, they would be exempt anyway since their annual turnover is under Rs 20 Lakh."
But under what circumstances would meat shop sellers have to pay GST if meat was not nil-rated? Agrawal says, "Even those who earn less than Rs 20 lakh have to pay GST if they conduct transactions across state boundaries. If meat was not nil-rated, a meat shop owner in Ghaziabad would have to pay GST even if he sold meat worth Re. 1. But since it is nil-rated, they can sell the meat across state lines without paying any GST."
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