CAIT seeks to lower GST on low-priced footwear, relief from BIS norm

New Delhi, March 20 : Delhi-based traders’ lobby Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has urged the government to revert to old GST slab of 5 per cent for footwear priced below Rs 1,000 and also keep them out from mandatory BIS certification. Speaking to , CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that people in India wear slippers even made of old tyres which cannot be subject to BIS certification of quality. “We have therefore requested the government to not make BIS certification mandatory for footwear costing below Rs 1,000,” said Khandelwal. On the demand for reducing GST to 5 per cent for footwear with a price tag of not more than Rs 1,000 Khandelwal said that 90 per cent of the people in the country wear clothes and footwear that cost below Rs 1,000 and hence government should not impose high taxes on such mass-consumption items. Khandelwal said that concerns raised by the footwear industry are genuine and CAIT will take up the matter with Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Addressing the trade leaders, Khandelwal said that as per earlier practice footwear below the cost of Rs 1,000 should attract 5 per cent GST (instead of 12 per cent). Likewise, he added, the BIS standards should also be made applicable in the same ratio. In support of his arguments, Khandelwal said that India is a land of diversity where consumers range from an ordinary person to most affluent class and their purchase behaviour is more as per their economic strata. He further said that the consumers thus can’t be governed by a single yardstick and therefore any policy or tax imposition should be levied accordingly. “There are more than 1,800 types of footwear manufactured in the country, from an ordinary slipper to high class footwear for ladies, gents, kids, sportsmen and various other sectors of consumers. (They cost) from Rs 50 to thousands of rupees. Having such large variety of footwear trade, is it possible to impose same standards?” he asked. “Sure, it’s not possible and therefore the respective authorities should look into the imposition of both GST and BIS standards,” he added. NK

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