Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bharath produces list with 6,000 items approved as VAT free

Vasant Bharath went to the Senate Tuesday with a long list of food items that will soon be exempt from Value Added Tax (VAT). 

The Trade and Industry Minister Vasant Bharath chairs an inter-ministerial committee that is making a list of items that would be VAT free from Nov. 15. So far his VAT free list contains thousands of items as opposed to the 54 that the previous administration had rated or VAT free.

"I have here a listing of the items that are now also going to be removed. This is the list! This is the list!” he said as he displayed the document. 

Here are some of the items that are on the list. These are currently taxed:
  • Pigeon peas
  • corn soup
  • corn flakes
  • coconut milk
  • cream of wheat
  • guava jam
  • mashed potatoes
  • grapefruit juice
  • apple juice
  • picnic hams
  • Kool Aid
  • Baked Beans
  • Smalta
  • soya for vegetarians
  • black-eyed-peas
  • kidney beans
  • macaroni
  • pig-tail
He said those and thousand more "will alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable.” He said he expects to finalise the list next week. 

Before his senate presentation Bharath met with representatives of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) at a breakfast forum on competitiveness at Hilton Trinidad, St Ann’s. 

"We will finalise that listing of products that conform to what we determine to be basic items so you will have that information before the end of this month,” Bharath promised manufacturers, who have suggested that VAT be retained on imported food items. 

Finance Minister Larry Howai, who also attended the forum, said he is aware of the issue of competitiveness. "How we deal with it is a major issue that has been addressing the committee the last few days,” he said.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai