Visakhapatnam: The recycled paper mills in Andhra Pradesh have appealed to the Union Finance Minister and the GST council to either waive the 12 per cent GST or reduce it drastically, failing which they will have to close down.
At a press meet here on Monday, B V Rama Rao, the president of the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Industry (FAPI), and B Venkateswara Rao, an executive member of the federation, said that of the 37 recycled paper mills, mainly concentrated in the two Godavari districts, eight had already stopped operations due to various reasons and the rest would also have to follow suit, if the government does not relent on the GST issue.
Earlier there was no tax on recycled paper, but the State government had imposed 5 per cent VAT and that was now being increased to 12 per cent, they said. “There are 37 recycled paper mills in the State, with a combined capacity of 6,60,000 tonnes per-annum, employing 25,000 persons directly or indirectly, with a turnover of Rs 2,500 crores.
Therefore, the sector has to be saved,” they stated. The duo said there were about 1,000 such units in the country and 15 or so in Telangana. Most of the units suffered due to high taxation and high power tariff. Also, it was an eco-friendly industry and an estimated 1.4 crore trees are saved annually due to recycling of paper. Therefore, the Government should save such a sector, they said.