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Feel Victimised By GST Slabs, Say Bengal Sweet Shops. Want Rates Changed

Kolkata:  If the Centre hopes to celebrate the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) with the famed rosogollas of West Bengal, they may be in for a shock. The sweet industry of West Bengal has written to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asking him to tweak or scrap on the tax levied on sweets. 

Sandip Mallik of the Balaram and Radharam Mullick Sweets said that the 1.5 lakh shops across West Bengal are feeling victimised by the GST slabs of the Centre.

“We fall under all slabs: Five per cent for rosogolla and sandesh; 12 per cent for mishti doi and 28 per cent for any sandesh with chocolate in it. It’s a worst-case scenario for us,” he adds. 
Echoing Mr Mallik, another sweet maker said that the GST levied on plain lassi in West Bengal would be five per cent whereas a lassi with fruit pulp would fall under the 12 per cent slab. 

“It is very difficult and confusing to manage on a daily basis,” said the sweet maker.

At least 15 lakh people live-off the industry, worth Rs 50,000 crore, and West Bengal’s ‘Mishtanna Samity’ has, several times, written to Mr Jaitley. But they are yet to get a response and the threat of sweet shops going on a strike is in the air. 

“Even if he replies now with some good news, we will send him very good mishti (sweets), which he will surely appreciate,” says RK Paul of the ‘Mishtanna Samity’.