Mangaluru: All India Fish Meal and Oil Manufacturers and Merchants Association will stage indefinite stir from today, Aug 1, Thursday, opposing the Central government’s move to slap GST on fish meal with effect from July 1, 2017.
Former minister and All India Fish Meal and Oil Manufactures and Merchants Association Chairman Pramod Madhwaraj told media at Patrika Bhavan on July 31, Wednesday that the former finance minister had earlier promised that the goods and services which were exempted in Central Excise and VAT regime, would also be exempted during GST regime.
“But 5% GST was imposed on fish oil. The GST was eventually hiked from 5 % to 12%. However, the fish meal and oil manufacturers did not oppose the move and paid the taxes promptly.”
Madhwaraj said, “But the shocker came to the fish meal and oil manufacturers when the Central government in its clarification, issued on December 31, 2018, declared that the fish meal will be taxable at 5% with effect from July 1, 2017.”
The centre’s move comes close on the heels of Karnataka government writing to GST Council on exempting fish meal, he added.
Madhwaraj said the amount of GST to be paid with retrospective effect would run into crores. It was also not possible for the the fish meal and oil manufactures to collect GST from their customers from retrospective effect. This is sure to hamper the growth of industry and many jobs would be lost. The government should take an immediate action on withdrawing the circular issued on December 31, 2018, Pramod said.
“The Centre should refrain from taking coercive action like freezing bank accounts of fish meal and oil manufacturers for failing to pay GST with retrospective effect. If this happens, the manufacturers cannot pay the fishermen,” he said.
The former minister said of the total 56 fish meal and oil industries in India, 34 of them are located in Karnataka.
“We are contributing to foreign export and many units come under MSME sector,” Madhwaraj said.
“A memorandum was submitted by the fish meal and oil manufactures to the prime minister and finance minister to reconsider the decision. The delegation led by the MPs of the region had met the officials concerned in this regard,” Madhwaraj said and added that until the government implements their demand, the fish meal and oil manufacturers will not withdraw the indefinite stir.
All India Fish Meal and Oil Manufacturers and Merchants Association President Khader H K, Vice President Anand C Kunder, members M K Balraj and U N Abdul Razaq were present.