National

Reduce GST on cochlear implants, Rahul Gandhi urges Centre

Special Correspondent 19 January 2020 03:19 IST
Updated: 18 January 2020 22:31 IST

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, in a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, has requested the Union government to reduce the Goods and Services Tax imposed on cochlear implants and its accessories.

These implants are used by persons with hearing impairment.

In his letter, he pointed out that cochlear implants attracted five per cent GST and its accessories were taxed at 12-18 per cent. “As per the 2011 Census, there are 1.26 million people with hearing disabilities and a large number of such people are from the poor and vulnerable sections of the population,” Mr. Gandhi wrote, requesting the government to reconsider the tax rates.

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Seeks spice park

The Wayanad MP, in separate letters to Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Food Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, also requested the government to set up a spice park and mega food park in his constituency.

Writing to Mr. Goyal, Mr. Gandhi said Wayanad was a major production centre for coffee and spices in Kerala. It was also the largest producer of turmeric and the second largest producer of pepper in the State. However, there was lack of a wider marketing network and value addition facilities for processing the spices. He has urged the Commerce Ministry to set up a spice park in Wayanad to provide the requisite processing facilities. In a similar letter to Ms. Badal, he wrote that there was immense potential for agri-processing industry in Wayanad to augment farm incomes in the geographically challenging terrain.

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