New Delhi, July 10 (SURYAA): A rights body on Monday demanded a rollback of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on aids and appliances used by the disabled.
The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled termed the government's claim that five per cent GST rate for these items is concessional as "incorrect and misleading".
"We express our utter dismay at the spurious claims made by the GST Council's media release of July 4, which has asserted that imposition of five per cent GST on aids and appliances used by disabled persons is a 'win-win' situation for all concerned," the body said in a statement.
"The statement declares that the five per cent GST rates for these items are 'concessional'. This is both incorrect and misleading. Pre-GST, barring cars for physically handicapped, all the disability aids and appliances did not attract any levy," it said.
It said that as a sector where the "end consumer should not be additionally burdened", the tax rates of these products must be restored to the earlier exempt status "without forgoing benefits of tax already paid across the value chain".
It also demanded that disability aids/appliances should be given full input tax credit even if they pay zero GST.
It stressed that these items are essential for persons with disabilities, without which their "mobility, education, employment and exercise of their rights and duties is curtailed".
The body pointed out that while many items used for puja are completely exempt, unpolished diamonds attract a GST of a mere 0.25 per cent and polished diamonds and gold only three per cent.