The Union government’s decision to tax Ayurveda products at 12%, under the proposed Goods and Service Tax (GST) has not gone well with the Ayurveda manufactures.
Upset with the government’s decision to levy GST on Ayurveda, the Ayurveda Drug Manufactures Association (ADMA), is planning to write a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to voice their concerns.
Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Joint Secretary of ADMA, Ayurveda Drug Manufactures Association Shashank Sandu said, “We will definitely speak to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. With the implementation of proposed taxation regime, everything will crumble. Government should either exempt us, or the tax rates should be lowered.”
He further stated, “In October 2016, we have made a representation to AYUSH minister Shripad Naik on the difficulties faced by the Ayurveda industry. After listening to us, he had in turn written a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. We had also met honourable Finance Minister to brief him about our concerns.”
Voicing similar concerns, Vicco Laboratories Director Sanjeev Pendharkar said, “There is no incentive provided for our traditional Indian medicines like Ayurveda. On the contrary, the government had promised to encourage traditional medicines and, therefore, rate of tax must be reduced and it should be put in the 5% bracket. It has actually been increased from 6% to 12%. It means instead of giving encouragement to Ayurvedic medicines, government has doubled the tax”
Not only Ayurveda manufactures, market giants like Patanjali Ayurveda has also shown their strong displeasure on the government’s decision. As of now Ayurveda products attract 5% to 6% tax, making it 12% would increase the production cost, which in turn will be passed on to the consumer.
Speaking to My Medical Mantra, SK Tijarawala, spokesperson of Patanjali Ayurveda had said, “Where is ‘Acche Din’ now? ‘Acche Din’ means good health. But without good health and good living there will not be ‘Acche Din’.”
Government claims, there will be lesser tax burden in case of medicaments, including, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathic or Bio-chemic systems also.
Medicaments, in general, attract 6% central excise duty and 5% VAT. Further on, Central Sales Tax(CST), octroi, entry tax, etc. are also applicable in general. At these rates, the present total tax incidence works out to more than 13%. As against this, the proposed GST rate on medicines, including ayurvedic medicines, is 12%.