MP for assessment of GST impact in isles

Port Blair
23 Oct 2017

In response to the demand of business community, traders, local manufacturers of A & N Islands, Mr Bishnu Pada Ray, Member of Parliament, A& N Islands met with Secretary (Revenue), Ministry of Finance at New Delhi recently. During the meeting, the MP  informed the Secretary (Revenue) that considering the remoteness of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and problems relating to high cost of freight charges, the Union Territory UT Islands was made tax free. Consequent upon introduction of uniformity of taxation by means of GST, the price index of local construction materials such as stone boulders, stone chips, timber, steel, sand, marine products like fish and  sea food, agriculture products such as copra and arcenut, handicrafts items, bakery items, fabrication items etc, which was   earlier being nullified by the regime of “No Tax” in the Island have been substantially increased because of high freight and forwarding cost, he said.
The prices of all non-MRP products including essential commodities of daily necessities have also gone up. The cost of services especially in tourism industry, has been also substantially increased because of inception of GST in this UT Islands and hike of market price on account of GST is an additional financial burden for the islanders, said Mr Ray.
“Islanders are now paying more for the services and goods than the consumers at mainland. High prices can also cause a decline to the main industry of these islands -  tourism, as visitors may prefer to choose other state and country instead of this island,” said Mr Ray urging the Ministry of Finance to depute a team to Andaman immediately to study the situation and to discuss with the Administration in presence of all stakeholders, traders and consumers for enabling to submit a comprehensive report to the Ministry of Finance.