The industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has urged the union government to review 18 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate on specific agriculture inputs such as bio fertilizers, bio pesticides/bio control agents (BCA), organic manures/vermicompost/farmyard manure (FYM) and others so as to compress the use of chemical fertilisers..
The industry body has highlighted that higher GST in this segment will directly promote the use of chemical fertilisers, thereby leading to increase in green house gas emissions. Apart from this, it noted that this will adversely impact public health too. Adding further, it pointed out that such a taxation policy on these segments will directly contradict efforts being made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in promoting variety of schemes and projects such as Swachh Bharat, Soil Health Card, Namami Gange and various organic missions.
Underlining the importance of bio-fertilizers, the chamber has said that they are manufactured primarily by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and also provide farmers an option towards sustainable agriculture practices like organic farming. Besides, it noted that bio-fertilizers are highly beneficial as they are alternate solutions to farmers from use of chemical fertilizers that tends to spoil both soil and environment.