'Tetra Pak Milk May Be Unfit During Fasts'

Maharashtra Sales Tax Department has said that Tetra Pak milk may not be fit for consumption during religious fasts

Published: 13th August 2015 03:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th August 2015 03:51 AM   |  A+A-

MUMBAI:While arguing its case for levying VAT on the milk sold in Tetra Pak cartons which contains ingredients derived from synthetic sources, Maharashtra Sales Tax Department has said that such milk may not be fit for consumption during religious fasts even though there are no proven health risks associated with their intake.

Several brands, including dairy major Amul have opposed the move to levy five per cent VAT on Tetra Pak milk, saying the tax can’t be imposed on such an essential item like milk. As per the department’s rules, VAT is applicable on milk if it were reconstituted and bears a brand name. Reconstituted milk has been defined as the milk whose ingredients are either changed or upgraded after pasteurisation.

The Tetra Pak milk business in the state is worth more than Rs 1,000 crore, and the VAT on the milk’s sale comes to around Rs 50 crore per year. 

During the court hearing, the department submitted documents corroborating its claim that vitamin A and D added to Tetra Pak milk were derived from synthetic sources.  “A company earlier claimed that milk naturally has vitamin A as its ingredient. Our research showed that one can’t derive vitamin A from milk. When we further investigated the matter, the company confessed that it had added vitamin A to the milk to upgrade its quality. Certainly, the source of the added vitamin was  not natural. It’s not hazardous to health but raises doubts as to whether such reconstituted milk could be fit for fasts,” a senior department official said.  

He said the onus was on the milk company to prove that the added vitamin was derived from natural sources. Next hearing Scheduled is held for September 24.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp