Will GST Un-sweeten The Deal For Bengal's Rasogollas? What Industry Says

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Will GST Un-sweeten The Deal For Bengal's Rasogollas? What Industry Says

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Sweet manufacturers say that with GST, inter-state trade will be easier (Representational)

Kolkata:  The implementation of Goods and Services Tax or GST is a mega challenge for the country. People are both optimistic yet anxious about the transition. The state of Bengal, however, is facing a 'sweet' dilemma as there is ambiguity whether the famed rasogollas and other traditional desserts will be taxed and at what rate.

Right now, traditional Bengali sweets don't attract Value Added Tax (VAT) and the sector hopes the GST spares them too. At the same time, they welcome the move to switch over to a simpler tax system.

"We have no idea whether there will be a tax on sweets or not after GST comes into effect. We would appeal to the state government to ensure that sweets are kept out of the GST. It took us a long time to convince the authorities to keep us out of the purview of VAT as our products have a short shelf-life," said Rabin Pal, general secretary of the Pashchim Banga Mishtanna Byabsayi Samiti.

If these sweets come under GST purview, those with a sweet tooth could be asked to shell out extra for their daily fix. Does that mean the rasogolla and other items could lose their sweetness?

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"The sweet loving Bengali is already burdened by paying a high price on quality traditional sweets. To deny a Bengali a sweet by making it more expensive is criminal," says Joysree Chatterjee, who eats sweets every day.

Sweet manufacturers welcome the tax system saying that with GST, expansion plans will be simpler and inter-state trade easier. "It will be simpler because we will have to pay only one tax," said Sudip Mullick, one of the owners of Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick, a popular place for Bengali sweets.

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