A brand name ‘Comfort’ imported and distributed by a multinational company has been exempted from custom levy and the VAT, alleged market sources.
This loses millions of rupees in income to the state, the sources said.
A top official in the Finance Ministry is behind this tax exemption, for which he gets many prized returns.
Leaving alone the government, even the opposition does not criticize this company which spends lavishly on most parties and their leaders during elections.
A leading businessman on condition of anonymity questioned this tax exemption for a non-essential item at a time when unbearable taxes are levied on essentials.
Also, cosmetics producers have written to ministers and MPs against an exemption of the CESS proposed by budget 2023 purportedly to safeguard local industries.
It will encourage imports and ruin the local industry, they warned.
At least 5,000 direct jobs will be lost in the industry even by exempting the CESS from items already exempted from the Customs levy, they added.