Farmers have questioned the state government’s decision to impose GST on projects implemented under the Kudimaramathu scheme. Farmers raised the issue at a review meeting organized by the Tirupur district public works department held in the city on Wednesday. Additional director to Tamil Nadu government-PWD M Balaji participated in the meeting. The Tamil Nadu government has issued orders to carry out 1,829 Kudimaramathu works at a cost of Rs 499.68 crore across the state this year. In Tirupur district, 53 maintaining and desilting works in water bodies and canals in Aliyar basin, 54 works in Thirumurthy basin, five in Bhavani basin and 22 in Amaravathi basin at a cost of Rs 15 crore would be carried out. All the works would be carried out under the Participatory Irrigation Management, which means beneficial farmers should contribute 10% of the cost either as fund, materials or human work.
When farmers raised about GST imposition on Kudimaramathu works, Balaji said, “If the works involved more than 75% of human work, 5% GST would be imposed, and if the human involvement is lesser than 75%, 12% GST would be imposed.” Tirupur district deputy president of Tamil Nadu Vivasaigal Sangam-AIKS S Paramasivam said, “The government has allotted Rs 25 lakh for the Kudimaramathu works for our irrigation association. Rs.2.5 lakh would be contributed by the farmers. If 12% GST would be imposed, we perceive that more than Rs 5 lakh, including other deductions, would be gone.” Secretary of Parambikulam Aliyar Project irrigation scheme T Gopal said, “Imposing GST when the works were completed is not fair.” Meanwhile, collector KS Palanisamy promised that the district administration would assign reliable chartered accountants to file finance transactions of Kudimaramathu works. The decision came after the administration found that some chartered accountants were misguiding the farmers.