COIMBATORE: The wet grinder manufacturers across the district are frustrated with the high GST on their products while wheat flour machines are taxed less. The partial tax rate under the new regime has not been reduced despite so many recommendations. Now, the industrialists have decided to file a case in court.
Manufacturers in Coimbatore fulfill 98 per cent of the wet grinder needs across the nation. There are 60 industries and more than 300 accessories manufacturing industries established at various parts of the district. Ten thousand peoples have received direct employment in this sector.
They make more than 20 models, with the price of domestic usage grinders starting from Rs 2,000 and going up to Rs 10,000. Commercial grinders are sold from Rs 10,000 to Rs 2 lakh. Under GST, wet grinders are taxed at 28 per cent, which has made the entire industry to face crisis.
Despite several recommendations to the Centre in person and through letters, the GST council is yet to reduce the tax rate for the grinders. On the other hand, tax on wheat flour making machines has been reduced to 5% from 28%. Industrialists at Coimbatore strongly condemn the partiality shown by the government and have decided to file case in the court.
Coimbatore Wet grinders and Accessories Manufacturers Association (COWMA) president Saastha M Raja said, “Idly and dosa are the favourite food items for people in the southern parts of the country. A few years back, the industry was struggling due to the lack of job orders, but the Tamil Nadu State government’s free grinder scheme gave a boost to the industry.
“Due to this scheme alone, the yearly manufacturing capacity of Coimbatore-based industries went up to 40 lakh. Totally, one crore and 65 lakh grinders, worth Rs 3,600 crore, were manufactured under the State government scheme.
“Now the entire industry is once again facing a crisis due to this abnormal tax rate under the GST regime. The monthly manufacturing capacity has come down literally from one lakh to 10,000. Thousands of workers are jobless for 15 days each month.
“We have made so many recommendations to the Centre, but still our demands have not been fulfilled.”
He also said there is no fairplay in Centre raising the taxes on grinders as the power does not go directly to the stone rollers.
“The electric power goes to the belt and then to the stone rollers in wet grinders. The 28% tax rate is applicable only when the power goes directly to the blade, as in the mixers.”
On the other hand, the Central government has reduced the tax rates of the Chakki Atta machines from 28% to 5%, he claimed. “These domestic wheat flour making machines are used in 90% of the houses across north India. Considering the usage and the pressure given by the politicians, the GST council has reduced the tax rate. We strongly condemn this partiality shown by the Centre.
“Functioning of both the chakki atta machines and wet grinders are the same as specified in the operation function mechanism (specified in IS 7603 standard). We urge the GST council to consider the wet grinders under HSN 8437 and reduce the tax rates in the next meeting. This is highly unfair taxing,”an emotional Raja said.
“If not, all the manufacturers will jointly file case in the court and fight legally against the abnormal taxation for wet grinders. We will not let go of this issue unless our request is fulfilled,” he added.