Thiruvananthapuram: Scrap dealers allege tax load'

Shops remain shut as traders resent GST.

Thiruvananthapuram: Scrap dealers in the city are reportedly refusing to accept inorganic waste, as they do not have clarity on GST that becomes applicable on scrap. While scrap dealers are afraid that the sudden jump in taxes is going to reduce their earnings, environmentalists fear that it will severely affect recycling industry. As per the list published by Central Board of Excise and Customs, a GST of 18% is applicable on scraps of plastic, rubber (other than hard rubber), glass, tin, aluminium, iron, nickel, aluminium, lead, zinc and tin.

The Commercial Taxes Department of Kerala had set 5 % VAT on them. Selvam, a Balaramapuram-based dealer, said that for every kg of plastic waste, they could earn Rs 4 or Rs 5, instead of the current rate of Rs 10. Scrap shops in the city have been shut from Monday to Wednesday to register their protest, according to Mr Selvam. He said large-scale dealers, who have linkages with various recyclers, are refusing to accept scrap even after the protest, as there is no clarity on the tax.

Meanwhile, Suchitwa Mission is hoping to meet the finance minister with a representation for a review of the tax on scrap materials. When asked about GST on scrap, over SMS, Mission executive director K. Vasuki replied, “It (GST on scrap) has been represented and looks like finance minister has agreed to place it in the next GST council.” The GST on inorganic waste will affect the central government’s Swachh Bharat, according to C N Manoj, co-founder of Pelican Foundation, which is one of the agencies to offer waste management services in the corporation. “Earlier scrap dealers belonged to the informal sector. Now they will have to register, and remit GST. This could badly affect the recycling industry.” The GST Council will meet in August to review the implementation of the new tax regime.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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