Ranchi: Amidst of sky rocketing prices of food items, the Jharkhand government  is gearing up to put more pressure on the consumers.

The Commercial Tax department in Jharkhand is set to impose five percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on packaged food items following which the branded food items will now be costlier.

This move by the government will burn a hole in pockets of consumers, who are already facing price rise in food commodities.
However, according to the government, this will not affect common man in the state as they do not consume branded food items.

The proposal in this regard is ready and will be soon sent to the Cabinet for its approval. After it gets nod, Commercial Tax department will issue a notification in this regard.

After Jharkhand became an independent state, it has been free from taxes. After VAT was implemented in 2006, the proposal for making tax free kept getting extended each year.

The deadline for tax rebate on food products ended on March 31, 2011.

During the Budget Session, Commerce-tax minister Hemant Soren had made an announcement for imposing VAT on branded food items.

According to government’s logic, branded food items are consumed by people belonging to financially sound background and by imposing VAT it will increase state’s revenue.

Meanwhile, the Commercial Tax department has cleared that non-branded packaged food items will remain tax free.

It should be noted that food items in West Bengal are tax free and VAT in Bihar is one percent, five percent in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

JPN/Bureau