GST roll-out has left the nation in confusion. There are mixed reactions about the implementation of GST, in fact, confusion prevails about how to tax various goods and services among retailers and customers. While traders in Gujarat called for an indefinite strike against the taxation, in Kolkata, many felt the GST pinch as Bengali sweets– the soul of Kolkata– has not been left out of the tax ambit.
Tax has been levied on the city of joy’s traditional pride sweets such as rosogolla and sandesh, misti doi and pantua since July 1 which has left the sweet traders in Kolkata in chaos as they are busy negotiating the maze of GST rates on the sweets which were not taxed before. The customers are unsure of what to buy considering the before and after tax difference and can barely grasp the exact GST on the items they buy.
“Currently we are calculating 5% GST on all sorts of sweets, except the chocolate-flavoured ones, where the rate is fixed at 28%. We will continue to do so unless there is further notification from the government differentiating between ordinary sweets, packaged suits and dry fruit- flavoured sweets. But the apprehension of harassment possibilities are always there,” said Sudip Mullick, the owner of the 132-year old Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick, a popular sweet chain of Kolkata.
The possibility of all the sweet shops in Kolkata to generate a printed bill against every transaction made seems narrow as there is over 1 lakh sweet shop in the Bengal. And an overwhelming number of those shop-owners are financially modest enough to not think of a computer or printers to clear the customer’s confusion.
The sweet traders of the state say that so far no official communication has reached them, or their association and they are constantly in fear of inspectors turning up at their door, reported Hindustan Times.