At the midnight hour, when the whole world slept, India woke to life and freedom in the emotional words of Nehru’. But, again, in the midnight hour, India will witness one of the most radical tax reforms – GST…! The government is ready to roll out GST from July 1 despite dissatisfaction from many quarters.
One of the consequences of the new tax regime is hike in necessary aids to the disabled including Braille typewriter, wheel – chairs, etc ( Fighting an old battle: GST rates, Javed Abidi, the Hindu June 29) . The cost of these aids will become at least 5% expensive.
Already, disabled face lot of difficulties socially and economically. They have very little access to basic amenities. The cost of living may rise with various food items, some daily use materials and transport facilities being taxed. The disabled, who often have little extra money, may face more difficulties in adjusting the meagre income they earn or their parents earn.
While items like ‘ kajal’ or ‘ tilak’ have been put under zero tax bracket, it is regrettable that crucial aids of the handicapped are being taxed. They have to look after medication expenses as well as accessories. This tax will weaken the position of handicapped economically.
Hence, social activists and those concerned with the rights of the differently abled should protest against the new tax proposals on necessary items for disabled. Government should review the proposals and assist in the empowerment of differently abled people at the earliest
Sheshu Babu is a writer from anywhere and everywhere