Industry body Assocham today asked the government to review 18 per cent GST rate on select agriculture inputs like bio-fertilisers, bio-pesticides and organic manures so as to compress the use of chemical fertilisers. In a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the industry body said a higher GST on bio-fertilisers, organic manures will promote the use of chemical fertilisers and impact public health. “Higher GST in this segment will directly promote chemical usage thereby leading to increase in green house gas emissions, besides it will adversely impact public health,” it said in the letter.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate imposed on these items directly contradict efforts being made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in promoting projects such as Swachh Bharat, Soil Health Card, Namami Gange and various organic missions, Assocham said. Prior to July 1, when GST was rolled out, bio-pesticides or bio-control agents were taxed in bracket of 5-6 per cent by majority of states but on basis of their certifications they were exempt from paying excise and other taxes.