What are the Effects of GST on Indian Agriculture? The Case of Turmeric

A comparison of the costs of farm inputs for turmeric cultivation in India before and after the implementation of Goods and Services Tax is presented. The results indicate that fertiliser costs of turmeric cultivation have reduced by 0.94%, while fungicide costs have increased by 11.32%. If both fertiliser and fungicide costs are included, the costs of turmeric cultivation can be said to have increased by 3.7%. 

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a common tax mechanism that replaces approximately 20 types of central and state taxes across India. The GST structure currently has four slabs, 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28% (Firstpost 2016). With regard to agriculture, there are two key differences in how a good is taxed in GST from the previous tax system:

(i) before GST, the state level value added tax (VAT) was applied after including the central excise duty on the price of the good while in GST, the State GST (SGST), and Central GST (CGST) are applied simultaneously on the price of the good (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting 2017a; 2017b). 

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