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Candy manufacturers cry foul as tax regime puts them at loss

Small-scale candy manufacturers in Tamil Nadu have witnessed a decrease in sales by about 50 per cent, just one-and-a-half-months after the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the country. The small-scale candy trading and manufacturing units, under the umbrella of the Sweets and Biscuit Manufacturing and Distributors Association (SBMDA), appealed to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami seeking tax exemption. Candy and its associated products have been placed in the 18 per cent GST slab.
GST implementation has left over 10,000 small-scale manufacturers in the lurch. Kadalai Mittai (candy made of groundnut), which had received tax exemption in 2007, is now in the highest GST bracket.
SBMDA president N Pandi said the price rise has led to a decrease in orders. “The candy business has lost its glory after GST as many traders have stopped buying in bulk,” he said.

Pandi stated a daylong strike had been announced for July, but the call was withdrawn after assurances from the government and traders associations. The Chief Minister and Finance minister were also approached with the former stating the plea would be forwarded to the GST Council.
One of the demands made by SBMDA members is tax exemption for handmade candies for the sake of manufacturers and traders.
Speaking about the filing of GST returns, SBMDA members said most of them lack computer knowledge. As directed by the GST Council, traders and manufacturer must file accounts statements within 10 days of the following month

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