Other suggestions include classification of animal food at 5 per cent goods and services tax (GST) rate; and notifying the draft animal health certificate which will ease import of pet food and animal origin ingredients into India.
Industry chamber PHDCCI has recommended the government to take steps such as adoption of mandatory standards for dog/cat food in order to promote growth of the pet food sector. Other suggestions include classification of animal food at 5 per cent goods and services tax (GST) rate; and notifying the draft animal health certificate which will ease import of pet food and animal origin ingredients into India.
India is emerging as potential market for pet food, driven by consumer awareness towards benefits of pre-packaged food on pet’s health, the chamber said in a communication to Atul Chaturvedi, Secretary in the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying. “Indian pet food Industry and its growth is primarily driven by a significant pet population of 2.5 crore pet dogs and 4.5 million cats. At present, there is not enough capacity of Indian industry to manufacture and cater to the growing demand of pet food, and there is huge dependency on imported food and ingredients,” it said.
It added that a harmonized regulatory environment focused on policies, standards, ease of doing business, reducing non-tariff barriers, uniform taxation for pet food will empower the industry to reach its true potential in the coming years.
“The industry in India needs a policy push and support from the department to maintain the growth momentum. There is a need to promote domestic pet food processing by taking policy steps to give a fillip to domestic industry by allowing imports of ingredients (of animal origin) and providing a level playing field to both domestic manufacturers as well as importers,” it said. Pre-packaged pet food market is estimated at Rs 2,500-2,700 crore.
Further, it said that adoption of BIS standard mandatory standard for dog/cat food will not only benefit the end consumer, but will give a great boost to the local manufacturing industry, besides increasing the export prospects.
“We request that the pet foods (food for cat, dogs and fish, etc.,) be classified under the 5 per cent GST category at parity with the animal feed. This GST rate is a critical need for continued sustainability of pet food industry,” PHDCCI Secretary General Saurabh Sanyal said.