Increased GST on paper products will work against the government’s efforts: IPMA

The Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA) has expressed concern over the increase in GST rates on paper bags, cartons, boxes and other packaging media, which according to the association, will make it expensive for consumers to shift away from single-use plastic.

06 Oct 2021 | By Rahul Kumar

The GST Council has recommended an increase in the GST rate from 12% to 18%

The GST Council, in its 45th meeting held on 17 September 2021, has recommended an increase in the GST rate on cartons, boxes, bags, packing containers of paper, etc from 12% to 18%.

According to IPMA, this recommendation of the GST Council is surprising and not in sync with the move of the government towards ban on the use of single-use plastic.

Recognising the global menace of single-use plastic, which is not biodegradable, India had earlier given an international commitment to ban all single-use plastic by 2022. Last month, towards this endeavour, the government of India amended the Plastic Waste Management Rules prohibiting the manufacture, sale and use of several single-use plastic commodities from 1 July 2022; and also prohibited the use of plastic carry bags with thickness less than 75 microns with effect from 30 September 2021 and 120 microns with effect from 31 December 2022.

AS Mehta, president IPMA, said paper is one of the most environmentally sustainable products as it is fully biodegradable, recyclable and is produced from sources which are renewable and sustainable. Paper provides a viable alternative to single-use plastic in several applications. An increase in the GST rate on paper cartons, boxes and bags will work against the government’s efforts towards phasing out the use of single-use plastic, he added.