The Tamilnadu Foodgrains Merchants Association Limited has appealed to the government to permit inter-state transportation of trucks carrying essential commodities and raw materials for small and medium scale industry. The association said that this could be permitted after testing the driver and cleaner who will be the only occupants.
The association also sought extension in concessions to products made by small level industries by at least six months in the GST structure. In a memorandum to Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and minister for health and family welfare Harsh Vardhan, the association stated that the Tamil Nadu government has banned all cargo trucks including those carrying essential food items from entering the state. Small and medium industries are dependent on other states for their raw material needs, association president S P Jeyapragasam said. He said the government has to allow these trucks after a medical checkup of the crew. “This procedure should be allowed for the transportation of finished goods also. By doing this, the general public will get benefited as they can get their products without shortage,” he said.
The association also said filing and paying of GST dates can be deferred by another 15 days penalty while interest should not be levied for genuine late payment cases. They also urged banks to give six months time for repaying instalments for loans that were obtained by small scale industries. Considering the economic slowdown and production hit as a result of Covid-19 they also requested banks to consider reducing interest rate for loans to 3% per annum.
Jeyapragasam suggested the government could increase revenue by offering a special deposit scheme with attractive interest rates for the public against gold and cash deposits. He said that these suggestions will give a breathing space for the general public and stakeholders who are hit by the economic slowdown as a result of Covid-19 and to revive the economy. Considering the increase in demand and price of masks, sanitizers, personal protective equipment (PPE) kit and infrared thermometers due, empower centre for consumer and environmental education, research and advocacy has appealed to the government to exempt those items from the GST structure. The executive director of the consumer body A Sankar stated that masks have 5% GST, while sanitizers and PPE kits are in the 12% bracket. Infrared thermometers attract 18% GST.