Coconut shell dealers may crack under GST regime

Coconut shelling in progress at a farm in Kerala.   | Photo Credit: K_K_Mustafah

For the coconut shell dealers, the Goods and Services Tax has come as a blow as they are liable to pay tax, while raw material suppliers and buyers are not covered under the the new regime.

According to V. Kalimuthu, a coconut shell dealer in Pollachi in Tamil Nadu, the shells are collected from farmers, scrap dealers, households marriage halls, and copra units.

It is highly unorganised and seasonal too. For instance, the quantity of shells collected is low during the rainy months. On an average, each dealer handles 15 to 20 tonnes of shells a day. These shells are supplied to charcoal makers and some units add value to it making activated carbon. The demand is high for these in the local and export markets.

“There is no tax on coconut shells at the source and charcoal is also exempted from GST. So only the coconut shell dealers will pay 5% tax,” he said.

A majority of coconut farms are in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. In T.N., there are about 200 coconut shell dealers, suppliers and charcoal unit owners. In Kerala, a majority of the shells go to the charcoal units in Karnataka. The dealers also supply them to industries to be used as fuel for boilers. Most dealers do not have bills or invoices for their purchase or sale.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 12:07:28 AM |

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