As part of efforts to bring parity in taxation on agro-inputs, the Department of Chemical and Petrochemicals has approached the Finance Ministry for reducing GST on pesticides from 18 per cent to 5 per cent.
Along with fertilisers, pesticide is also an important agro input that helps in curbing pests and diseases on plants and plays a major role in increasing agricultural production. But unlike fertilisers that attract 5 per cent GST, pesticide is charged GST at 18 per cent, even higher than 12 per cent VAT before introduction of the new indirect tax system.
In its recent report tabled in Parliament, the standing committee on chemicals and fertilisers has also expressed dismay at the higher rate of taxation for this critical Agri input and had asked the department to take quick action to see that the lower rate of taxation is provided for pesticides.
“The Committee is dismayed to note that GST on pesticides has increased to 18 per cent after roll out of GST from around 12 per cent VAT in most of the important states where the pesticides are consumed on a large-scale. GST on fertilizers is only 5 per cent and pesticide being another agro-input deserves to be put under 5 per cent slab of GST,” the standing committee has recommended to the government.
“In this regard, the committee notes the recommendation of the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals to bring down the GST slab to 5 per cent. Since it is disheartening to note that the crops worth Rs 90,000 crore are lost annually due to pests and diseases, the committee recommend that GST on pesticides should be reduced from 18 per cent to 5 per cent so as to benefit the farmers and to increase the agricultural production in the country,” the committee said in its report.
Sources said that the Finance Ministry after examining the proposal to reduce duty on pesticides may put the issue before the GST Council that has the final say in matters of indirect taxes.