Biscuit manufacturers today demanded a lower GST rate on biscuit and related products than the current 18 per cent, saying it is a mass consumption food product and similar products are subject to lower tax rate.
Stating that about 15 per cent sales have gone down post GST implementation, Indian Biscuits Manufacturers Association (IBMA) said consumers of biscuit belong predominantly to the poorer segment and will hurt the 2.5 crore employment created by the industry.
"This is a labour oriented industry and mostly local workers get employment. Besides, other food products such as processed dry fruits, sweets, tea and juice have been kept at a 5 per cent bracket," IBMA President B P Agarwal told reporters here.
"Close to 2.5 crore direct and indirect employment is created by this industry which include small workers, distributors and transporters," he added.
When asked if the government denies lowering the tax on biscuits, Agarwal said the cost will automatically go up and will be passed to consumers.
"If today we sell 50 gm packet at Rs 5, we will sell only 30 gm or less than that," he added.
GST has subsumed all major levies including excise, service tax and VAT, unifying 16 different taxes, and make India a single market.