Ahmedabad: Popcorns in India have turned elite even as theatres across the country remain shutdown over the coronavirus pandemic. A tax agency on Wednesday moved a bag of ready to eat popcorns from a 5 percent slab to 18 percent slab making it expensive by a few rupees.
The Authority for Advanced Rulings in a latest ruling involving Jay Jalram Enterprises, a Surat based puffed popcorn manufacturer, refused to entertain a plea seeking 5 percent slab. The petitioner argued that popcorn was a cereal and hence should be classified under the 5 percent slab. The Gujarat bench of the AAR, however, held that post heating and oiling processes, popcorn ceased to be a grain.
Post the decision, a packet of ready-to-eat pop corns will be billed at 18 percent GST slab. The latest decision is similar to a Maharashtra bench AAR ruling on popcorns that came up with a fresh premise to categorize premix popcorn at an 18% GST slab.
The idea of GST - One Nation, One Tax has been questioned in recent times. From three slabs in 2017, India's tax agency has evolved to a pentagonal-structure - 3, 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent.
A fortnight ago, a similar predicament awaited Paratha and roti lovers. The Karnataka bench of the Authority for Advance Rulings held Parathas to be taxed at 18 percent even as rotis would continue being taxed at the 5 percent slab.
Sify Cartoonist Satish Acharya's take on the Paratha-Chapati fiasco.
Disclaimer: Lead image in story is attributed to Wikipedia.