Bihar Govt hikes VAT on Sweets, Namkeen, Samosa and other items to 13.5%

Patna: Opposition parties in Bihar have slammed the Nitish Kumar Government for increasing the VAT(Value Added Tax) on several items of daily use by nearly 200%.

Former Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi termed it a step towards License Raj, where common people were harassed by Officers. Senior BJP Leader Nand Kishore Yadav said, “Nitish is cheating the voters of Bihar by imposing unwanted tax. A poor man, who struggles and saves money for a house, will have to pay tax on sand for construction of his house”.

A spokesperson for Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular (HAM-S) said, “In Lalu-Rabri regime, there were scams which did not have a direct impact on people. The current government has found a sophisticated way to fleece people by imposing tax on goods of daily use”.

The VAT on common household items has been increased from 5% to 13.5%. These include Fabrics, auto parts, dry fruits, electrical goods, sweets, saari, sand, cosmetics etc. Sweets costing Rs 500/kg will be charged 13.5% additional tax. Dry Fruits, auto parts, industrial cable, transformers, industrial inputs, electric equipments, purchase of sand would be charged a VAT of 13.5% against the existing 5%.

Additionally, several items which were outside purview of VAT, have been brought under its ambit. All Saari costing more than Rs 2000, fabrics worth Rs.500 or more per meter will be charged 5% VAT. New items under the ambit of VAT include packed flour, maida, sujji, besan, namkeen, samosa, nimki, kachauri, bhujia, chanachur, dalmote, potato chip, salted peanuts. The VAT would be charged as soon as Commercial Taxes Department comes up with the notification.

Countering allegations leveled by the Bharatiya Janata Party for increasing VAT percentage in Bihar, Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav on Wednesday said the central government should focus on the problem of increasing inflation rather than playing dirty politics. Yadav added that the decision to increase VAT was taken after looking into all aspects. He further stated that the Bihar Cabinet is taking all necessary steps to initiate previous and new development projects.

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Ventuno/BP Staff(Edited)